Let’s learn of re­silience from St John’s Col­lege

Fiji Sun - - Comment - ROSI DOVIVERATA

The re­silience of this tightly knit com­mu­nity shone through. What lit­tle they had, they gave. It was not only in terms of dol­lars and cents, but in the time and ser­vice they gave to the process.

The re­build­ing of St John’s Col­lege in Cawaci, Ovalau, since the dev­as­ta­tion of Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Win­ston paves the way for other af­fected schools to fol­low.

The staff, par­ents and ex-schol­ars did not wait around for hand­outs. They did not wait for a “pie to fall from the sky” as put aptly by school prin­ci­pal, Fa­ther Ekuasi Manu. In­stead, they dug deep into their pock­ets and gave what they could. Sup­port poured in from near and far. The re­silience of this tightly knit com­mu­nity shone through. What lit­tle they had, they gave. It was not only in terms of dol­lars and cents, but in the time and ser­vice they gave to the process.

Study­ing un­der tar­pau­lin tents did not de­ter stu­dents from do­ing their best. Per­haps, this was the driv­ing force that car­ried them through the rest of the year. The school motto “Cen­tred In Christ” re­in­forced team and com­mu­nity sup­port for those in­volved in the ac­tual re­build­ing of the school in­clud­ing the Repub­lic of Fiji Mil­i­tary Forces en­gi­neers. For Marist Brother, Bernard James McKenna, the work in Cawaci is an il­lus­tra­tion of both the phys­i­cal and spir­i­tual re­build­ing of lives. Hav­ing served in the Solomon Is­lands for 10 years and Fiji since 1998, he em­pha­sised to St John’s Col­lege stu­dents dur­ing the prize­giv­ing that life was about re­la­tion­ships. He told stu­dents that they needed to make a home within them­selves and with God - this would al­low them to ex­tend to those around them.

De­spite re­ports of two to three trop­i­cal cy­clones ex­pected to pass through Fiji wa­ters this sea­son, there is no turn­ing back for the Cawaci com­mu­nity. This Sun­day, ex-stu­dents from the Cen­tral/East­ern Di­vi­sion will be in Cawaci to as­sist with re­pair works. Af­ter a week, those old schol­ars from the West­ern Di­vi­sion will move in and do the same. Other groups have come and gone – their work ev­i­dent in the 85 per cent of the re­pair works com­pleted so far.

As the big­gest co-ed­u­ca­tional board­ing school in the coun­try, St John’s Col­lege is lead­ing the way in its dis­play of true com­mu­nity spirit. Other schools af­fected by Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Win­ston can glean a les­son or two from the re­silience dis­played by St John’s col­lege stu­dents, staff and exs­tu­dents - in­clud­ing the larger Cawaci com­mu­nity. ALSO READ St John’s Col­lege prize­giv­ing

St John’s Cawaci in the af­ter­math of Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Win­ston. Photo: Face­book

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Fiji

© PressReader. All rights reserved.