Greetings your Eminence and fellow Apifo'ou Family!
The first week of the final Term kicked off with a few visitations to the college. Sione's Foundation from Australia were welcomed to the college during the assembly. The occasion was blessed with the presence of the High Commissioner from Australia to Tonga, Ms. Rachel Moore, as part of the funding for the project came from the High Commission's Office.
Girls from Mana College in Porirua were also welcomed to the college during the assembly. They were part of a Netball Tournament that was held here in Tonga. Even though they won the competition, but Apifo'ou's Netball Teams gave them a run for their money. On Friday, the entourage from St. Bede's College in Christchurch was welcomed at the college. This was led by their Principal, Mr. McDowall, the Director of Ministry, Ms. Rachel, and 17 students including our former Prefect Soane Tahi who is currently studying at the college.
And while we're now focusing on the Final Exams which will begin this week, we're still able to play host to these groups as they've been very helpful to the college. The staff and students put up a special luncheon on Friday to share with the group from St. Bede's. The college also marked World Teachers' Day on Friday.
The group from St. Bede's was grateful to have had an audience with His Eminence, Cardinal Paini Mafi. He welcomed Principal McDowall, Rachel, and the boys from St. Bede's on behalf of the Diocese and the Catholic Education System.
Seen above are Principal McDowall, Lord Sevele, former pupil of St. Bede's at Apifo'ou. The welcome was unique as they were accorded a full Traditional Kava ceremony.
The St. Bede's boys responded with a Haka and then followed by the shared luncheon with entertainments provided by various classes.
The Foundation responded generously to a humble request from the college through our Health Officer and Nurse, Ms. Gladys Leger. Part of the funding was provided by the Australian High Commission to Tonga. Franky, Apifo'ou would be one of the first schools in Tonga to have a proper shelter where the canteen operators can sell their food. We cannot thank Sione's Foundation enough for their generosity!
The all-girls' school from Porirua attended the school's assembly to present gifts and say thank you to our netters for the good games and friendships they enjoyed.
Shrine of Our Lady
After Mass on Friday the Levels 1 & 2 students gathered at St. Mary's campus for the blessing of their new shrine to Our Lady. This was made possible by the generous donations from 'Ana Kivalu and her family. Malo fau e 'ofa.
Seen below is 'Ana Kivalu after the blessing. Her family has been most generous over the years with sponsorship for the annual Prize Giving. Malo fau e 'ofa 'Ana & famili.
The Alumni 83 stepped up a notch this week with the installation of new sliding windows at the St. John's Block. They were the first group to respond to the request for renovation of this block. Of course, the 'Kasia Fetakinima 89' also recently completed the 2nd classroom. However, these sliding windows are really special.
Seen here are the workers from the Chinese company that manufactured these sliding windows. At least we have a Chinese connection now!
Mr. Tuiaki Latu
We congratulate Mr. Tuiaki Latu, who graduated from USP with a post-graduate degree in Mathematics (Master's). Well done faithful servant! A few of our teachers are lining up for graduation next year. May this trend among our teachers continue!
Mr. Vaelua Teo (RIP)
It's always heartbreaking when we lose loved ones. The Apifo'ou Family this week mourned the passing of Mr. Teo, father to 3 wonderful children who are currently students at our college. May he rest in peace and divine consolation on his family.
Sr. Saloni Helepiko SMSM (RIP)
The untimely passing of Sr. Saloni is heartbreaking, especially to the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary. The college will fulfill its obligations to her funeral.
'Apifo'ou & Takuilau celebrations
Whilst in Australia during the recent National U18 Rugby Tour, I managed to attend celebrations by our two beloved schools to mark their respective anniversaries.
Seen below is the cutting of the cake ceremony to mark the 158th Anniversary of 'Apifo'ou College. Fr. Silito, an ex-student, was also present to honour the occasion.
I was also delighted to catch up with the ex-students in Brisbane and their families, especially the youngest ex-student, Lieta Siale, seen above in her tau'olunga outfit.
As seen above and below, there was also plenty of support from the Apifo'ou Family at the Takuilau Ball to mark our sister school's 48th Anniversary.
Tonga Under-18 Rugby Team Australian Tour Pictorials
Seen above is the Chief Liaison Officer for the tour, Fr. 'Aliki Langi, who did most of the arrangements for our accommodations in hotels! Malo Patele si'i 'ofa mo e tokoni.
May I extend to you all our heartfelt gratitude for your prayers and support for our beloved college. Please pray for our students as they embark on their Final Exams.
My profound gratitude to all our ex-students and Apifo'ou Family who reached out to our Touring Team. Malo fau e 'ofa lahi, but I know you did it out of love for 'Apifo'ou.