An unofficial Surrey school mascot made a name for herself overseas this past summer, after tagging along on a trip through Ireland.
“Miss Mac Bacon,” a toy pig who was adopted by some Panorama Ridge Secondary students as the school’s unofficial mascot, tagged along with education assistant Rita McDonnell to many Irish destinations.
Although Miss Mac Bacon was too busy to turn in her essay on how she spent her summer vacation, she was nice enough to send the Reporter a few photos documenting her journey through Ireland — albeit a few months late.
McDonnell, a longtime Cloverdale resident, has worked as an education assistant at Panorama Ridge Secondary School since 2015.
Two years ago, two of her students chose two toy pigs from the dollar store to serve as unofficial school mascots. “Everyone fell in love with them,” said McDonnell.
These days, the two pigs spend the majority of their time in a display case, and are decorated with the seasons — sporting new outfits and accessories for Thanksgiving, spring break, graduation and more.
McDonnell thought it would be fun to take one of the unofficial mascots with her on vacation this past summer, and to collect photos of “Miss Mac Bacon” on holiday in Ireland to share with her students.
McDonnell said she had a great experience, and that travelling with a small pig wearing a “Canada” shirt led to many curious strangers wandering up to say hello. Although most of the interactions were based off of pure curiosity, there were a few heartwarming moments when strangers would mention a stuffed animal that meant a lot to them, or the teddy bear of a loved one.
When the school year began, McDonnell shared photos of her and Miss Mac Bacon’s trip with her students. “The kids loved it,” she said.