College to celebrate 70th Jubilee

The St Joseph’s College 70th Jubilee will be celebrated this year from September 27 to October 3, 2020.

Newly appointed Principal, Brother Kevin O’Malley, told the Samoa Observer that 2020 is the college’s platinum year and they are looking at making improvements this year as Samoa’s first secondary school.

He said an area that needed improving is the college’s finances which should translate to better salaries for teachers.

“If we can pay teachers more than what they are getting, then that’s one of the aims in the future,” he said.

But for that to happen, Brother Kevin said their collection rate has to improve while minimising fees charged on parents.

But it can become a challenge with the rise in the cost of living and will continue to present problems for schools and colleges. 

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“We’ve got to generate income that will be able to sustain and improve our work,” he added. “Otherwise we stand still, and once you stand still you start sliding backwards And I don’t want that to happen.”

Marist Brothers School at Lotopa, when Brother Kevin first came in 1968, had 300 students and nine teachers. And with the exception of an American Peace Corp volunteer, John Jenkins, all the nine teachers were Marist Brothers.

When responding to a question on how he felt having educated so many people over 50 years of his teaching career, Brother Kevin said he will always remember the words of his late friend and former deputy principal, Lemamea Teofilo Lemisio.

“One of the quotes he would say frequently is ‘I am still sitting on my pride’, which appealed to many students because he said that you do get a sense of pride in achieving.”

Brother Kevin said he is also thankful to God for the things that happened which enabled him to contribute to the school he loved. 

“To see it develop so much so fast in so many good ways, it gives you a sense of pride and satisfaction. After all, achievement is something that makes life worth living,” he said.

His achievements are not his alone but a whole supportive team of people working together and collectively to achieve the same outcomes. 

And as the school approaches its 70th Jubilee celebrations, Brother Kevin said it is time to celebrate past successes and plan for the future, while learning from the past to move ahead with optimism and joy.

“Student’s unfortunately always look back and say ‘the good old days’, but the good old days may still be ahead and that’s what I’m looking forward to."

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