St. Joseph's College dux follows father's footsteps
Following the path his father took over 30 years ago, Year 13 student Elrod Liliolelagi Leung Wai was on Friday named the St Joseph College’s dux.
Mr Leung Wai topped Mathematics, Computer, English, Religion, Physics, Biology and came second in Chemistry to claim top honors as the college’s top student.
In an interview with the Samoa Observer, the valedictorian said he feels like he is walking in the footsteps of his father and lawyer Aumua Ming Leung Wai, who is a St Joseph’s College alumni and was dux in 1989.
“Today was very great and amazing and glory goes all to God and I’m very blessed and honoured to be the dux of Saint Joseph’s this year,” he said. “It feels like I’m following in my father’s footsteps, it’s very blessed because my grandfather also attended St Josephs.
“I’m aiming to become an information technology technician, I will be running my family business.
“But my personal dream is to develop programs that can help to educate people and develop stuff for the benefit of our world and the kids in the future.”
While Mr Leung Wai acknowledges the challenges that his peers faced in the 2020 academic year, brought on by the COVID-19 global pandemic, he remains optimistic and says that his determination to be successful for the sake of his family pushed him to come out with flying colours.
He is the second-born son of businesswoman and Samoa Stationery and Books General Manager Tofilau Fiti Leung Wai. His eldest sibling is currently studying at the Waikato University in New Zealand through a scholarship.
Asked for his advice to the young people of Samoa, he said they need to put their minds into their school work as well as honour God.
“Be determined to earn, don't skip classes and do your best,” he added. “It was hard to learn due to the lockdown when the teachers were not there to explain this and that but we were able to catch up on our notes when we went back.”
In his last speech in front of his school, Mr. Leung Wai acknowledged the spirit of the students who started at the Marist Primary School and went on to St Joseph’s College.
“It reminded me of the spirit of unity, where we are all united together as a family and brothers as we bond and cooperate to help one another as we rise together as one,” he added. “My parents brought me to this school so that I can grow and thrive so that at the same time, give back.”