Marist gear up for major celebration

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene ,

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Former Attorney General, Aumua Ming Leung Wai.

Former Attorney General, Aumua Ming Leung Wai. (Photo: Samoa Observer)

Marist Brothers Old Pupil Associations (M.B.O.P.A.) is gearing up to celebrate 130 years of Marist Brothers Education in Samoa.

This was announced by M.B.O.P.A. President, Tuatagaloa Aumua Leung Wai, yesterday.

The main event of the celebration is the Marist Excellence Service Awards Ball to be held on September 15. Tuatagaloa said the celebration will begin with a mass at the Mulivai Cathedral on September 13.

This is followed by tree planting and then an ava ceremony to be held at the Fale Samoa of the St Joseph College at Alafua.

He added 15 members of the M.B.O.P.A. will receive awards on the night of the Ball.

“The celebration will have members of the association from overseas, which include Australia, New Zealand and American Samoa,” Tuatagaloa said.

“There will also be a forum where all members of the association will be present to discuss ways to improve not only the association but also the Marist education. This forum will also discuss the strategic plan for the M.B.O.P.A. and ways we can move forward in the future.”

The Ball is also a fundraiser and the money collected will be shared between St Joseph College and Marist Brothers at Mulivai.

Tuatagaloa said the association was established the same time the school was established in 1988.

“At that time it was called the Marist Union and it was led by Taisi Olaf Nelson at the time,” he said.

“And after that it was later called the Marist Old Boys Association and then when the girls were accepted in the school, we then changed it to Marist Brothers Old Pupil Association.”

According to the Marist Brother’s Old Pupil Association website, the Marist Brothers at Mulivai was established on September 4, 1988.

Bishop Lamaze SM visited France and made an application to the Superior General of the Marist Brothers, Rev. Brother Theophane for Brothers to re-open their mission in Apia. 

His request was granted and on August 18, Brothers Philippe Charavay (French), Marie Salvianus (German) and Hilary Francis (an Australian Novice) arrived in Apia in the company of Br John, the Provincial Superior of Australia, under whose direction the new mission now came.

The Brothers opened their school on September 4 with seven pupils (all part Samoans) but before the end of the year, the school grew to 20 boys. 

They taught mainly in English, subjects such as reading, writing, arithmetic, algebra, grammar, composition, geography and history with French and German courses .

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