Greetings your Eminence and fellow 'Apifo'ou Family!
This is the first week of school for the Academic Year 2024 and it was filled with the celebrations of Masses to mark the commencement of the new school year. On Thursday all the secondary schools and Technical Institutions within the Diocese gathered at the Cathedral to mark the opening of the new academic year. This is usually the occasion whereby His Eminence, Cardinal Mafi, addressed all the workers and students within the Vineyard of the Lord in Catholic education. Before the final prayers and benediction, the Director of Catholic Education, Mr. Soane Vahe announced the most outstanding students from the various Catholic secondary schools within the Diocese.
On Friday, 'Apifo'ou College celebrated its Opening Mass to coincide with the Induction of the Prefects for 2024. The main celebrant was the Vicar General and President of the Ex-students Association, Mon. Lutoviko Finau. The Homilist was the Director for E.C.L and Parish Priest of Hihifo, Fr. Mateo Kivalu. There were 60 Prefects inducted as student leaders for 2024. The Head Boy is from Niuatoputapu, Vitolio Faka'osi, who will now carry the Honorary Title, Fe'ao mo e Lotu, a title bestowed by Lord Fakafanua, noble of the estate where the college is located. The Head Girl is Lose Tausinga jr, named after the school's great Home Economic Teacher in days past, the late Lose Tausinga.
Seen above is Fr. Mateo delivering a fiery and inspiring homily to motivate the staff and students. Seen below is Moseniolo Finau badging the Head Girl, Lose Tausinga.
Seen below is the badging of the Head Boy, Vitolio Faka'osi from Niuatoputapu.
One unique feature of the ceremony is when parents are invited to badge their own sons and daughters, which is very symbolic. Seen below are the parents of the Head Girl, Sione and Malia Nasaleti Tausinga, proudly flanking their daughter.
Seen above is the Deputy Head Girl, 'Amelia Vaihu, whose mum hails from Kolovai and may be related to the Principal. Seen below is the new Deputy Head Boy, Mr. Siu Kalapa. He asked to be badged in place of his son who is still in Niua. Siu relayed to me that he was never a prefect at school so this was a long coveted opportunity!
Like Jesus after his baptism who was led by the Holy Spirit to the desert, the Prefects gathered at the new Villa Maria Hall in Longoteme for their Leadership workshop. This was facilitated by Dr. Leonaitasi Hoponoa and assisted by the staff. The day was concluded with Mass and a delicious meal prepared by the PTA at Longoteme.
The students were empowered to maximize their leadership potentials such as standing from the front and speaking confidently in front of people.
Prefects in the process of enjoying the hospitality of the Longoteme Communion.
First School Assembly
The school had its first assembly for 2024 on Tuesday where students were happily surprised that teachers led the assembly with a Skit, Drama, Song, and some inspiring messages.
This was a fitting occasion to run through some important disciplinary issues. For instance, the proper school uniform which was showcased above by student Likamoana Kautoke. Seen below is Dr. Hoponoa and me introducing some of the basic skills of orientating oneself to a new school environment.
Outstanding students from last year
The outstanding students from last year based on the results from the external exams were awarded during the Opening Mass of the Catholic Education System.
Seen above is Soakimi Ngaluola from 'Apifo'ou and Manu Hufanga Vatuvei from Takuilau, below.
The Executive Committee Members of the AFC ex-students gathered at Ngutulei Restaurant for their first meeting of the year. It's affirming to see the wonderful morale among members and having it in a restaurant added to the atmosphere!
Special visits from prominent ex-students to the college: Mr. Soane Nofo'akifolau posing with former students and colleague! Seen below is Peta Tausinga and her family who stopped by at the Principal's office.
It's been a good start so far with all the celebrations to mark the beginning of the New Academic Year, 2024.
We look forward to the journey that we have begun with the Lord and His Mother. Some distinctive features during our Opening Mass were the recitals of pledges by the prefects, teachers, and the whole school, commending to the Lord the work ahead, without forgetting all the support to be rendered by you, our 'Apifo'ou family.