Don Bosco opens $1.5m hall at Salelologa, Savai’i

By Vatapuia Maiava ,

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MILLION DOLLAR HALL: Don Bosco’s (Salelologa, Savaii) brand new hall

MILLION DOLLAR HALL: Don Bosco’s (Salelologa, Savaii) brand new hall

A hall built from sweat, hard work and a wheelbarrow march throughout Savai’i was officially opened yesterday. 

As a result, 300 students of Don Bosco, Salelologa, will have a much better learning facility with the completion of the "Father Elio Proietto’s Hall."

The project started last December with the College’s Principal, Father Mosese Tui, initiating a Walk for Hall fundraiser.

Yesterday, the Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio, and the Minister for Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, joined Australian High Commissioner, Sue Langford in celebrating with the school.

Also present was Architect and builder, Alan Schwalger who handed the keys to Father Mosese.

Minister Sili cut the ribbon, officially declaring the hall open.

“This is the end of our project and now it’s time to stop and focus on the school work,” said Father Mosese.

“We are happy with the presence of all the Ministers and the Don Bosco Australia representative because most of the materials we used were from Don Bosco overseas.

“Yes we did have a Walk for Hall program but we were only able to make $110,000. But the overseas Don Bosco schools saw that we were taking the initiative and that’s why they sent us money to help.

“They saw that I was walking around sun tanning in Savai’i then they assisted us. The walk was in December last year and now it’s not yet December this year and we have completed the project.”

Father Mosese acknowledged those who assisted with the building of the hall.

“A lot of the money was from Don Bosco Australia and Don Bosco Rome,” he said.

“The total cost of the project was $1,595,700; everything nowadays is expensive. The work was signed to be completed in five months but it took seven and a half months because something happened with Alan Schwalger who is the builder and architect.

DECLARING THE HALL OPEN: Minister for Finance Sili Epa Tuioti cutting the ribbon of the hall
DECLARING THE HALL OPEN: Minister for Finance Sili Epa Tuioti cutting the ribbon of the hall
Architect and Builder, Alan Schwalger handing the keys of the hall to Don Bosco Savaii’s Principal, Father Mosese Tui’s
Architect and Builder, Alan Schwalger handing the keys of the hall to Don Bosco Savaii’s Principal, Father Mosese Tui’s

“As many of you may know about his wife Manamea’s (Schwalger) situation. That’s why I stopped the work and let him go and be with his wife; if my wife was sick then I would go and sit by her side too.”

According to Father Mosese, building the hall was no easy task.

“The biggest issue we had right in the beginning was the rain,” he said.

“We couldn’t do any work. The second issue was the laziness of the workers so I had to come and discipline them to get some work done.

“The third issue was that the workers will only work good and fast if the food was good; the last issue was the sun was just too hot so we just kept praying to the Lord to make Samoa cooler.”

The hall itself will not be limited to the use of just the school but rather, it will be open to everyone.

“We are opening the hall for everyone,” Father Mosese said.

“We might also do a bit of bingo in this hall. This hall is for everyone, if you want to get married here, if want to use it for another purpose then its ok.

“We will make the payment very affordable because we need to pay for electricity.”

Asked if they have any other future project for the school, Father Mosese said no.

“This will be the last project because there is no more land left,” he said.

“This is enough for us because we don’t want to keep wanting more. We just need to finish off our fence so we’ll do a little fundraising for that.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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