Greetings your Eminence and fellow Apifo'ou Family!
This is the 6th week of Term 2. Lots of things could have happened this week. The Opening of Parliament was planned for yesterday which was to coincide with the Opening of the Rugby season. The students were looking forward to the Opening of Parliament as they were going to march from here to town! However, this was all cancelled due to the passing of the late Princess Mele Siu'ilikutapu. The state funeral will be held tomorrow.
The focus this week is the preparation for the Mid-Year exams which will begin on the 19th of this month.
Another sad news has reached the college this week just after the burial of the late Mr. Soape Havea. This time it's another son of 'Apifo'ou, 'Afoloka Lavaki. He was Head Prefect in 1981 and was part of the champion 1XV Rugby Team that won the Senior competition for 3 consecutive years (1977-1978-1979). The late 'Afoloka was often described as a reserved and humble giant! However, inside the rugby pitch he'd plough through everything and everyone that stood in his way! The 1974 Alumni had a Mass celebrated last night at Longoteme to honor their fallen comrade. The college too offered special intentions today for 'Afoloka and Soape. Rest in peace.
In this snapshot below from 1981 at the Basilica in Nuku'alofa, the late 'Afoloka can be seen to the left along with Malakai 'Enosi (middle) and Viliami Halaholo (right). This was his final year at St. John's High School where he was also the Head Prefect. RIP.
Preparations for the Mid-Year exams
The senior Forms continue to have classes in the evenings to help the students prepare well for their upcoming exams. The Maths department continue to offer assistance to students who need help.
The different sporting Teams of the college are preparing well for their respective competitions which will begin next week. In an effort to boost the morale of the students, we invited the Parishes who agreed to render their support: Grade 1 - Nuku'alofa, G2 - Kauvai, G3 - Pea, G4 - Hihifo, G5 - Houma, Senior 1XV - Ma'ufanga. The parishes are also free to choose any Team from the Netball and Soccer. Malo!
Seen above is the Grade 1 and below is the Grade 5.
Seen above is Grade 2 and below is Grade 1 with a female coach from Nuku'alofa.
Despite the cancellation of the March for the Opening of Parliament, the students enjoyed their marching drills. This was a chance to revisit the Cadet skills that they learned in 2019.
New Desks & Chairs!
Her Majesty the Queen donated 300 desks and 305 chairs to the college. We're now able to replace the old furniture from 8 classrooms. Evidently, it makes a huge difference in the classrooms as students enjoy their their new-look classrooms.
Seen above are the Swire Shipping staff supervising the work. Seen below are the TVET staff and students doing the hard-work of unloading the furniture.
St. Mary's Library
The blessings from all the contributions so far to the college have opened up an opportunity to set up a library for the junior Forms. The used shelves from the school's library have been shifted to the St. Mary's side plus the reading materials. This is a cause of great joy to the staff and students of St. Mary's campus as they now enjoy their own library instead of having to stroll to the St. John's campus for it.
Form 7's New Outfit
The Form 7 students put on their new outfit today and was blessed during the Eucharist. It's very affirming seeing the students take such pride in their uniforms.
Every Friday after Mass the staff members gather to share a lunch prepared by the different Levels. This week the lunch was quite special as it was prepared by Sr. Sesilia and her colleagues. This is an exercise that is geared toward bringing the teachers together at least once a week to share food and laughter!
Stella Maris Project
The Stella Maris Alumni have resumed their project by doing some painting and putting final touches onto their project. As you can see below, the blessing and opening of the project will be happening soon!
During the week we had the honor of meeting up with some of our ex-students from overseas and at home. Seen below are some of the 72-73 alumni: Malakai Halapio, Stan Moheloa, To'oa Faiva, Soane Mafi and 'Elia Mafi. Welcome home!
Seen above is Palutea and her beloved husband from Aotearoa. Seen below is a longtime friend of mine and my family. Pila Nuku (as he was known back then) from way back, and I, started together at the Nuku'alofa Primary School. We both entered St. John's in 1975. Pila and the family now reside in Canberra. Wonderful to see you all.
Shots from the late Soape Havea's funeral
Indeed, it was a privilege to honor our late teacher and companion Mr. Havea. It was wonderful to see the students and teachers paid their final respect on the day.
Financial Support from Queensland
The college is eternally grateful to our ex-students in Queensland: Mr. Mikaele Kama (President), Liufau Sevele (Treasurer), Limapo Hopoate (Secretary), other Executive members (Tito & Soane Siasau) for their generous contribution to the college of TOP $14,500. Perhaps the win by the Queensland Maroons on Wednesday evening may have stirred up something! Joking aside, malo fau e tokoni mo e 'ofa lahi ki 'Apifo'ou.
May I extend to you all our deepest gratitude for the generous donations to our beloved school. All the contributions to the college so far have helped boost the morale of teachers & students, either inside the classrooms or in the sports arena.