It’s that time of the year again where there are smiles all around. And rightly so.
As we begin the month of December, the wonderful season of prizegivings and end of year celebrations has descended upon us with a roar.
Truth be told, it’s a wonderful time for everyone, one most people look forward to because it signals the arrival of the festive season and everything wonderful it brings.
Who doesn’t love this time of the year?
For students, it spells the end of another academic year. No more schools, no more homework, exams are finished and they can get away with staying up as late as they want.
Keep in mind they are not the only ones who are relieved.
For the parents, apart from the joy of not having to worry about more school fees, they will be relieved about school drop offs and pick ups, lunches, fares and everything that school entails.
Teachers love this time of the year too. They will have a few weeks of holiday to rest their minds as they prepare for the next academic year.
There is a lot more to December of course. What with family reunions, weddings and so forth, it’s generally a joyous time for everyone.
But those prizegivings top all. From pre-schoolers to tertiary students who are graduating with Masters, they certainly bring a very positive vibe. And why not?
We believe that for every child who has achieved something, he/she represents a journey that would’ve required them to overcome many barriers.
It goes without saying that success doesn’t just fall from the sky. It requires sacrifice, tears, sweat, plenty of dedication and a lot more hard work.
That’s why success is sweet. And everyone who has tasted it already – or will taste it in the coming days – deserves it.
What we need to remember in days like this is that every student represents a journey. Think of the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and the entire family unit behind them. Think of the prayers from pastors, church members and the tapuaiga from the villages.
They say that it takes an entire village to raise a child. We couldn’t agree more, especially in a place like Samoa where families mean everything.
This also explains why prizegivings are occasions to behold on these shores.
They speak of us being a people of “the we” rather than “the me”.
One child will have many supporters from parents, siblings, aunties, uncles, church friends and sometimes entire villages.
In this newspaper, it is always a joy to provide coverage of these events every year. That’s why you would have noticed that during the past week, your newspaper has been featuring photos and stories of duxes and prizegivings.
This will continue for the next few weeks as schools and tertiary education providers celebrate their successes.
At this time of the year, this is also a time where your newspaper is often asked by proud parents and relatives about the cost to have their sons and daughters photos published - and posted on our online edition at www.sobserver.ws.
The simple answer is we do not charge - unless parents insist on putting out an advertisement, which they are welcome to do.
The problem is that we’ve only got so many reporters and they cannot be everywhere at the same time. And let’s not forget that prizegivings are not the only “newsworthy” events happening in Samoa today. There are many other important occasions to cover happening at the same time.
We would love to publish photos from every school in Samoa and those of our sons and daughters graduating from elsewhere outside Samoa. But we cannot guarantee that we will be able to get to your school or your graduation.
The good news is that with the advent of technology, where digital cameras and the internet are widely available, if we are not able to get to your school, you are more than welcome to send in your photos, captions and details about your prize giving. And when you do, please be patient if it’s not published right away. As you can appreciate, there is quite a backlog, especially with multiple prizegivings happening on the same day. Let me assure you that we endeavour to publish photos from all these prizegivings over the coming days and weeks.
The same applies for office gatherings and end of year functions. Again, we would be happy to publish photos and details from your function.
We invite you to send photos, captions and information to firstname.lastname@example.org and copy email@example.com. And one last thing, we prefer high resolution images if you want your photo to come out looking the best.
So enjoy the season of celebration as we embrace and welcome December and the joy it brings. Have a beautiful weekend Samoa, God bless!