By Vatapuia Maiava 23 March 2016, 12:00AM

The spirit of the Easter week was evident yesterday as Avele, St. Joseph’s and Don Bosco students put their differences aside and took turns to apologise to one another.

The groveling apologies which saw students on their knees with tears of remorse follow a string of brawls and stone fights at Savalalo which landed students and teachers in the hospital last week.

At least six students have been arrested and are awaiting their dates with Court.  Yesterday, representative students and staff from St. Joseph’s and Don Bosco began the morning by visiting Avele to say sorry for their part in the fights.

Avele College then made their way down to both St. Joseph’s and Don Bosco for their turn.

In the end, the spirits were high as the different students laughed together, shook hands, hugged and danced in celebration of their new-found unity.

Father Christopher J. Ford, Principal of Don Bosco, addressed the students of each school on the importance of peace. “I apologize with all my heart to Avele and to you St. Joseph’s for the times the actions of Don Bosco have not brought happiness to others,” he said.

“I am sorry for the times when our actions brought hurt, for the times our actions have pulled down rather than pulled up, for the times when our actions had not brought joy to our world, for the times when our actions has added more to the sufferings of Jesus rather than sharing his cross with him.

“Please forgive me, please forgive our boys and please forgive our school because we all know in our hearts that Saint Don Bosco sought to bring all people together in peace to the Lord.”

Father Christopher continued on with a lesson for all the students of the three schools.

“The second thing I would like to say and it’s connected to happiness; violence never brings happiness. I asked our boys on Friday ‘who is happier today after the fight yesterday than they were before the fight?’ 

“No one!! Everyone was sad; violence brings more bad than good, violence brings more troubles than it solves, violence and fighting makes people sad.

“Just as it has made the students of Avele sad, just as it has made St. Joseph’s sad and just as it makes Don Bosco sad.”

The principals, staff members and students who are not involved in the feuds have had enough of all the fighting.

“This is enough, it is time to stop. Stand up for peace, stand up for joy, stand up for goodness; remember that it is your responsibility and the responsibility of the students of Avele, Don Bosco and every other school in Samoa to do the right thing.

“Evil flourishes when good people don’t act, when good people don’t do the right thing.”

Staff members of all 3 schools agreed as Father Christopher told the students that it is time to do the right thing and it’s time for peace.

“Do the right thing; take action to bring peace, to bring reconciliation. Remember at this special time of the year that we are all united in Christ in a very profound way,” he said.

“We are all his sons and daughters, sons and daughters of God and the brothers and sisters of Jesus. So let us love each other as brothers and sisters in the lord”.

By Vatapuia Maiava 23 March 2016, 12:00AM

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