Cardinal’s timely visit
Work on Viard gym under way
Wellington’s new cardinal last week blessed the site where Bishop Viard College’s $ 2.5 million gymnasium will be built.
John Dew arrived back from Rome only two weeks ago, after being elevated by Pope Francis as one of 20 new cardinals. He is just the fourth New Zealander to be made a cardinal.
At Bishop Viard College on Tuesday, he told staff and students that the new gymnasium and principal, Rose SawayaBaxter, represented fresh beginnings for the region’s only Catholic co-ed school.
‘‘I welcome Rose being here,’’ he said. ‘‘You bring great commitment and experience to the role and I look forward to working with you. Anything I can can do to support our young people in education, I will do,’’ he said.
The cardinal said the gymnasium was a long time coming and he was sure it would meet the modern requirements for health and fitness for the college’s students.
He turned the first sod on the site, where the tennis courts currently sit, and promised to be back for the grand opening.
Dew recalled that last month’s ceremony in Rome, held at St Peter’s Basilica, was ‘‘simple but beautiful’’.
Strong speaker: Cardinal Dew addresses Bishop Viard College students and staff, and visitors to the school, for the turning of the first sod for the new gymnasium.
Memorable moment: Bishop Viard College principal Rose Sawaya-Baxter
and Cardinal Dew are welcomed with a school haka.
Hot work: The cardinal had to put his back into turning the first sod. Photos: