Greetings your Eminence and fellow 'Apifo'ou Family!
This is week 10 of Term 3, the term's final week before the school takes a well earned 1-week break, an opportunity to re-charge the batteries for both staff and students before embarking on this year's fourth and final term. The Deputy Principal, Fr. Valu Siua, held the weekly school assembly on Wednesday that began with a prayer led by the Form 5A students & teacher Ms. Fekita Moimoi under the theme of leadership.
Domestic Violence Awareness
Earlier on Tuesday saw the conclusion of an awareness program on domestic violence conducted by the Tonga Rugby League. There were happy faces among the participants from Level 3, as there were prizes handed out for session quizzes during the program. Our gratitude goes out to TRL for this useful and helpful initiative
St. John's Building Classroom Project
As can be seen below, this voluntary initiative by the alumni group 'Kasia Fetakinima 1989' to renovate one of the classrooms in one of the oldest buildings at 'Apifo'ou, the St. John's Building, is going so well that these volunteers are hoping to complete this project by the end of today (Friday). And while we can't thank them enough for this kind gesture, let it be known that a few other classrooms in this same building also need a similar facelift in case any alumni group out there may wish to tackle it.
Night Classes & the Syllabus
The effort to complete the syllabus before the end of the term for all levels (Forms 1-6) is ongoing. And a big help in that regard is the evening classes held here at the college and at the various parishes. It's worth mentioning once again out of a sense of gratitude that classes at the parish level are organized and paid for by the PTA.
New Marian Grotto
A new grotto with a statue of Our Blessed Mother is being set up at that part of the college named after her, St. Mary's Campus, which hosts our junior classes. From now on, our younger students will be reminded daily of God's most loving mother every time they walk past her statue, all thanks to one of the pioneers of St. Mary's High School from 1964, Mrs. Latu Savelio Kivalu, under whose memory this grotto is being sponsored by her children, all ex-students of St. Mary's: Teisilose, Jennifer, and Felisita Kivalu. Many of you may still remember that famous 'ohai tree at St Mary's High School. While regrettably that beloved tree did not survive the recent volcanic eruption, it has however allowed this grotto to take its place. Malo fau e manatu 'ofa!
Seen above is the architect & builder of the grotto, retired teacher Sitiveni Tu'ipulotu.
Tax and Customs Week
As part of the tax and customs week organized by the Ministry of Finance, three students from Form V represented the college at quiz competitions in town among schools related to the aforesaid theme which ended with the handing out of certificates and prizes. Our students were guided by form teacher, Mr. David Nagata.
A key stakeholder who has joined the ongoing efforts to improve the academic performance of Form VI is the PTA. Seen below are snapshots from its most recent meeting on Thursday this week, discussing the organized evening classes at the parishes, the arrival next week of charity group 'Sione's Foundation' from Australia, and gearing up to welcome students from St. Bede's College, Christchurch in Term 4
Two Containers from Ex-Students for the College
Two huge containers arrived at 'Apifo'ou this week filled with nothing but love for the college from our ex-students overseas. And how can we ever repay such kindness except to say 'thank you' on behalf of us all here at 'Apifo'ou. Ex-student 'Isitokia Paasi, the person behind this generous gesture, is here in Tonga to ensure the containers' safe arrival, but later updates will provide details over their contents once opened.
Marking the End of Term 3
The college marked the end of Term 3 with a special Mass led by the Acting Principal, Fr. Valu Siua, during which we prayed for a few recently deceased parents of our students as well as one of the teachers, Betty Gwenda 'Ahohako, who is awaiting medical treatment. Do remember Gwenda and all sickly ex-students in your prayers. The teachers also gathered for a BBQ and a bowl of Kava on Friday not only to mark the end of term 3, but also to welcome 'Isitokia Paasi again to AFC.
See here above at extreme right is Ms. 'Isitokia Paasi at the teachers' BBQ on Friday. Below are some of the teachers at the Friday BBQ around the Tano'a. Malo e ngaue!
At the end of another school term, we here at 'Apifo'ou are forever mindful and especially grateful, for we could not have gotten through it without the prayers, help and support of you all, the entire 'Apifo'ou family, both here in Tonga and abroad. Do remember Fr. 'Ekuasi and staff who are still in Australia and all ex-students who are ill.
Ngungutau Tupola (for the Principal)