Seasonal Greetings your Eminence and fellow 'Apifo'ou Family!
This is the final week of the external exams for our Level 6 students. We admire the commitment of our students as they gather each day at Tailulu College, the venue for the exams.
I'd like to thank the Coordinator for Level 6, Sr. Sesilia 'Alamoti SMSM for being there early to distribute the examination slips for the students. We take turns in saying the prayer and blessing upon the students before they embark on their exams.
The Form 7 students are enjoying their break, as they've completed their exams at USP. There is one more event next week which is a small Thank You/Farewell Meal for them. This will also coincide with the Induction of these students to become officially and formally ex-students of 'Apifo'ou College!
Level 6 External Exams
The Level 6 students are given pep talks each morning to psyche them up before the exams! We admire the students of all the secondary schools throughout Tonga as they are surrounded by activities of the festive season such as the local and popular netball competitions, etc. And yet, they are being challenged to remain focused and composed in their exams!
In between the Level 6 exams and other chores at the college, we still find time to clean the weeds at our garden at Hihifo. This year we're planting tongan taro, futuna taro, cassava, kumara, and pele. We'll save lots of money as these crops and greens will cater for all the feedings of our Athletics, Rugby, Netball, etc. for next year! Besides, our 5 acres of tongan taro have already found a buyer in Nishi Trading.
Frankly, I find the outings to our plantation healthy and life-giving!
It's fairly common here in Tonga that Brass Bands, String Bands, etc. visit and play at certain places and they're usually offered gratuitous gestures in cash and kind. Our college's Brass Band will embark on a similar venture next week, as they had to wait until the exams are over. However, the Basilica's Brass Band had already visited us last week and we are grateful to them for sharing the message of Christmas.
Marist Rugby Club
Last week we held a simple but significant event in which we distributed Cash Awards to the rugby boys. Even though they lost in the final, they have improved greatly from the previous season. Well done guys!
The Frank Enterprises held their Christmas Party to mark the end of a successful year in their business. It has been highlighted earlier that the success of this family business is due to its commitment to their family and their workers. Indeed, they have put together a closely-knitted family model that seems to work.
The function was held at their newest bar in town facing the Western Union's main branch at the heart of Nuku'alofa. If you're in town there's only one building that has the colour of Mary and 'Apifo'ou, and you won't want to miss it!
Our Lady of Purity's 25th Anniversary
The Loto Fungani Ma'a 'o Malia Church at Haveluliku celebrated their Silver Jubilee on Tuesday. It was a simple yet solemn celebration, well attended by all the families of the Communio. Fr. Tomasi Sili SM, who hails from this parish delivered the homily. His sister, Sr. Maletina SOLN together with the PP Fr. Visone blew the anniversary candles!
This year almost all our Marist confreres who work in the missions throughout the Pacific and beyond have returned home for a well-deserved break. It's certainly great to see them after quite some years away due to the border closures.
Best Christmas Gifts!
Of all the Christmas gifts if there would be any, the most precious is the arrival of my two brothers, Fr. Lutoviko from Fiji and 'Etuate from NZ. They were not able to come when our beloved Mum passed on due to the border restrictions unfortunately. However, this is a wonderful reunion to reminisce and catch up.
It looks more like a Triangular tournament between NZ, Fiji, Tonga around the tanoa!
'Etuate shows off his muscles as he lifts the dumbbell after every round! But the Cawaci champ remained undeterred!
May I extend to you all a very Merry Christmas and a New Year that will be filled with prosperity, peace and joy!
Thank you all for helping us face even overcome this most challenging journey of 2022. When we look back at the different routes that we each took, we can only glimpse the spots where we rise. Gone into obscurity are the valleys where we fall.