21/08/2012 19:56

Salesian Family Day, 2012:

Celebration of Life, together in fun, joy and prayer !

By Fr. Ambrose Pereira sdb, Rector, Don Bosco Technical Institute, Henderson

Nearly 700 Students, staff, parents, guardians and Past pupils joined in the Salesian Family Day celebrations held on 18th August, 2012 at Don Bosco technical Institute, Henderson.  The theme: ‘Celebration of Life, in fun, joy and prayer’ chosen for the occasion sums up what the day was all about.

Don Bosco, Father and Friend of Youth:

John Bosco was born on 16th August, 1815 at Castelnuovo d'Asti, Piedmont, Italy.  John Bosco later know as known as Don Bosco, was an Italian Roman Catholic priest, educator and writer of the 19th century, who put into practice the convictions of his religion, dedicating his life to the betterment and education of street children, juvenile delinquents, and other disadvantaged youth and employing teaching methods based on love rather than punishment, a method known as the Salesian Preventive System.  The Salesians of Don Bosco today are present in 132 countries of the world with schools, colleges, youth centres, hostels and training centres and strive to follow in the footsteps of Don Bosco, the Father and Friend of youth. An approach to the young, the Don Bosco way, is to understand and appreciate his greatness as a human being and as a Christian, his practical talents and skills as an educator, his spirituality and his work will enable us put it into practice for the benefit of the youngsters. 

Preparation for the Bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco has already commenced.  There is the need to study him, understand his spiritual journey, his pastoral decisions, imitate him, invoke him and inculturate his charism in the various contexts and the different situations we find ourselves. 

In the days prior to the celebration, the staff and students had occasion to learn more about him through stories, quotes and sharing of experiences.  The Salesian Family Day gives one a practical possibility for all – staff, students, parents and guardians to understand his spirit and bring out the best in the young.

Don Bosco Technical Institution, Henderson:

Don Bosco Technical Institute, Henderson was established in 2000, to cater to the push-outs from Honiara.  The centre today has youngsters from different provinces and different religions.  It has been addressing the needs of the young and giving youngsters the possibility of learning a trade and enhancing their dignity as persons.  The regular trade courses run for youngsters of the 18 to 25-age bracket.  Short Courses in Welding, Media and a variety of other technical trades have being conducted for the 22 to 40-age bracket.   

Salesian Family Day, 2012:

The Salesian Family Day is an occasion to share the Salesian Spirit and ideal that the education of the young may be fostered.  The Day opened with a thanksgiving Eucharistic celebration at which Fr. Henri Paroi op, Vicar Provincial of the Dominican vicariate of PNG-SI, was the main celebrant.  He appreciated the educational work done by the Salesians of Don Bosco, for the good of the young that focused on the person and celebrated life.  “We need to be humble enough to say who we are, are happy to admit our faults and wish to celebrate our differences and our uniqueness in Life,” he said as he dwelt on the theme: Celebration of Life.  The Eucharist was well prepared with the participation of all. 

Then began the fun and games for the students at which, the staff and past pupils also joined in.  The entire school was divided into six zones.  They marched in and took their appointed place.  The games were a mixture of talent, strength and skill.   A variety of relays were planned and executed by the Student Representative Council under the leadership of Mr John Mara and the other organizers.  The Bolt and Rapanui relays drew the most attention and applause, while the over and under pass and the lemon and spoon relay involved skill.

Lunch had a rich variety of dishes cooked by the life skills students and many more brought in by students, parents and friends.  There was enough and more to ensure that the over 700 persons were well fed. 

“The focus of the family day was an informal affair that permitted great interaction between the teachers, students and parents.   The creativity of the games was very good and the weather was on our side – the sky was overcast, it was cool and drizzled a bit, but luckily there was no rain.  There were signs of teachers and parents who prepared well for the event.  I have enjoyed being part of the fun and the laughter”, commented Mr Colin Ruqebatu, School Board chairman.  “Perhaps a team made up of ex-students, parents and guardians would encourage former ‘Bosconians’ to return back,” he suggested.

Ms Camari Bainivalu, principal under the direction of Fr. Srimal Priyanga sdb, Spiritual Moderator, coordinated the programme together with staff and the SRC students.   Sincere thanks to the many parents and guardians who joined in this family celebration to support and encourage their youngsters. 

The day was brought to a close with the winners – the Yellow Group – being declared as the winners of the day.  Thanks to Mr and Mrs Paul Quan for the prizes that the students received at the end of the day.   “What you have learnt and experienced, you need to now share”, said Fr. Ambrose Pereira sdb, Rector as he concluded the day giving praise to Don Bosco and thanking those responsible for the organization and the execution.  All went home grateful for a wonderful celebration.