Warm greetings to Your Eminence and fellow Apifo'ou Family!
This will be the last lots of news from the college until we return to commence the New Academic Year 2024! Most of the activities in these past few weeks were geared toward the Annual Prize Giving for 2023. However, there were two other key events that were held on the last week of the academic year: Closing Mass for the year & Blessing of the new Brass Band & Musical Instruments.
Annual Prize Giving 2023
The college held yesterday its annual Prize Giving for the Academic Year 2023. It was indeed a joy-filled celebration as we wrapped up the journey that we embarked on from the 7th of February until yesterday. Some of the much anticipated items in this ceremony was the announcement of the Dux for 2023. The Form 7 students' parting message to the college. The audience was looking forward to the special show performed by the Brass Band and Choir, especially to listen to the new musical instruments donated to the college by our ever generous ex-students.
His Eminence delivered his concluding speech, affirming the college for what has been accomplished this year. He laid down a few challenges to the staff and students. Chief among them is 'striving for holiness', which is a vital element for molding the character of Apifo'ou and the people that live, work and study here.
Seen above are His Eminence and the Dux of 2023, Latu Kolokihakaufisi Maile.
Seen here above are the Form 7 students and teachers awaiting the beginning of the Graduation March into the Hall.
Here above are some of the staff in full regalia as befits the final event of the year.
Seen above are the Form 7 students performing their farewell song and below is His Eminence with the Dux's family.
We're indeed grateful to all our ex-students who have reached out to help with the Prizes and Awards for the Prize Giving such as shown here above. Malo fau e 'ofa!
Usually at the end of the Prize Giving, the staff gathered to mark the end of the year, sharing food and drinks. Last night was a bit special as we also bade farewell to the outgoing teachers: DP Tu'ukaunga Taulua, Viliami Po'ese, Lolesio Sailosi, Fr. Mikaele Misinale, Vai'ufia Afeaki, Sione Hapa, Saane Paletu'a, Monalisa Tangimausia, and Sr. Mo'unga Taula.
We were happy that Isitokia & Manu Paasi, Lui Vaitaki & a few other friends joined us!
Seen below is the host for the evening, Mr. Frank Mateo, assisted by the Chairperson for the PTA, Mrs. Malia Lita Fisilau.
Form 7 students Induction
For three years now we've been conducting this event in which we induct the outgoing Form 7 students to officially become an ex-scholar and ex-student of the college. This is really important to create in them a sense of pride that they carry with them the trust and hope of the college as they pursue their diverse career paths. They were presented with a Certificate of Acknowledgment by the college.
Seen below are the Form 7 students' souvenir pose with the perpetual Principal of the college looking out over them from here on as they leave 'Apifo'ou.
Blessing of the new Brass Band Instruments
This unique event was the realization of a dream that was orchestrated by a handful of ex-students: Isitokia Paasi, Lui Vaitaki, Rev. Aleki Latu & Pelenanto Huhane. It only took a year before they gathered 72 brand new musical instruments from families and individuals, all part of the wider Apifo'ou Family. On Wednesday at the college hall, His Eminence Cardinal Mafi received and blessed the instruments as the esteemed names of those remembered and generous donors were called out.
As each name was called out, a representative from the family of the one being memorialized did the honor of presenting the instrument to His Eminence.
Seen here above and below are the two gentlemen and ex-students who accompanied the container with the instruments to Tonga, Lui Vaitaki & Manu Paasi.
Seen above is the blessing of the vehicle donated by the Paasi family to be used by the Music Department for the transportation of the instruments. Malo e fu'u 'ofa lahi fau pea 'e 'ikai malava ke fakatataua.
Seen above are His Eminence with 'Isitokia, Manu, Lui and members of the 'Apifo'ou Family smiling with grateful hearts! Seen below is Mr. Tuitu'u Paasi, the beloved Dad of Manu & Isitokia. Even though he's 90 years old, he wanted to travel from NZ to Tonga and accompanied by Tuitu'u jr (directly behind him) to witness the joyful celebrations of presenting the instruments to the college, thanks in part to his help.
In a relaxed mode, Manu & Lui reminisced about their 1979 Tour of Taiwan over a bowl of kava! Seen below is the Commander in Charge, Ms 'Isitokia Paasi, making sure that everything is in order! Malo lahi Tokia.
TVET Showcase Event
The staff and students of the TVET Section conducted a special display of their new tools and some of the completed projects by the students.
The ex-students took a special trip to 'Eua to support them in their fundraising for the New Chapel of the college. It was so heartwarming to say the least, the generous hearts of these simple and ordinary islanders. They raised about 140,000.
Such joy to catch up with a former 75 classmate, Vailea Vaitohi, one of the stars of the Taiwan Tour in 1979. As seen below, he still looks slim and fit!
May I take this opportunity to extend to you all our heartfelt gratitude on behalf of us all here at Apifo'ou. We humbly acknowledge all the help, prayers, and support from all our stakeholders that enabled us to successfully complete the academic journey of 2023. May God and His Blessed Mother continue to shower Heaven's blessings upon you all as we embark on the festive seasons of Advent and Christmas. May I also take this opportunity to wish you all here in Tonga and abroad a very Merry Christmas and a happy, prosperous and above all a holy New Year 2024.