Graduation bliss at Piula Theological College
The extended state of emergency [S.O.E.] orders did not dampen the spirits of hundreds of people who gathered at Piula Theological College on Sunday to witness the graduation of its theology students.
The special ceremony marked the end of the academic year for the students attending the Theological College.
Held at the "E le uma le Alofa Chapel," the graduation ceremony was led by Reverend Faulalo Leti Pa'aga, who is also the President of the Methodist Conference.
Reverend Faulalo Leti Pa'aga spoke on behalf of the school Principal, Reverend Dr. Mosese Mailo and the leaders of the Methodist church in congratulating the graduates.
"You did it!," said Reverend Faulalo.
"Today, I also remember the day we graduated; it was like it was just yesterday.
"We were emotional, just like today.
"This is a day to look back on God's love and mercy that guided us through."
It is also a day to reflect on what happened in the past as they look forward to the next journey ahead of them.
"We look back not so we can pick the bad things that happened, but so you can see all that you guys have achieved and what you guys learnt.
"That's what you will take with you in the next journey ahead. Look back with a thankful heart, accept your calling, and be grateful.
"Take what you learn so you will be well-equipped for the journey ahead."
Moreover, Reverend Faulalo reminded the graduates that more challenges will unfold in the future.
"Think of the challenges that lie ahead and make the right choices now.
"The choices you make today will have an impact on the next journey, so choose wisely.
"Congratulations on this achievement. You guys did it.
"You did it because God was there, always.
"Whatever and wherever God calls you to serve, go with the belief that he will carry you through it."
Six students graduated with a Diploma in Theology.
They include Samoa Mata'afa, Ioane Lene, Lepapa Tui Savai'i, Asomaliu Lua, Apelu Alisi Teofilo and Samuelu Lene.
Wesley Lafaialii graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity while Numia and Tauauve'a and Kolia Tulia graduated with Bachelor of Divinity with Honors.
The special prizes were:
Top 1st-year student: Tim Ray Tuilaepa.
Top 2nd-year student: Tipa Lale
Top 3rd-year student: Takashi F. Gafo
Top 4th-year student: Samoa Mata'afa.
BD Class: Numia Tauauve'a
Dux of the graduating class: Samoa Mata'afa.