Old Pupils celebrate 130 years of Marist Brothers contribution to Education in Samoa

St. Josephs students parade during the June Independence celebrations

APIA, SAMOA – FRIDAY 31 AUGUST 2018: The Marist Brothers Old Pupils Association (MBOPA) is gearing up to celebrate 130 years of Marist Education in Samoa this September.

The Marist Brothers have come a long way since 1888, when it started with only 7 students. The pioneering Marist Brothers legacy now lives on through the Marist Brothers Primary School at Mulivai and Saint Joseph’s College, Alafua. They are well established educational institutions with an enormous contribution to Samoa’s journey pre and post-independence. The education and values the Marist Brothers instilled in the pupils remain a lasting legacy in all fields be it business, politics, sports, church or family.

The 130 years celebrations theme is “Together We Remember”. The celebrations remember and honour those who have served the Marist Schools, MBOPA, the Marist Fraternity and those who have had long and distinguished service to the government and country.

The four day event, 13-16 September will be filled with various activities for the students, old and new Marist members and their families.

  1. Tree Planting: The Marist School students and members of MBOPA will work with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to plant over 2000 trees at the Vailima Reserve at the bottom of Mt. Vaea, Marist Brothers School, Mulivai and Saint Joseph’s College at Alafua.

    Members of the MOBA Organising Committee

  2. Career Day: This event at the Saint Joseph’s College Centennial Hall, Alafua will focus on different career opportunities for the students to aim for in the future. Nearby schools wil be invited to attend.
  3. Marist Forum: This is a major part of the celebrations. The forum aims to get the members of MBOPA around the world to come together under one roof to discuss and formulate its strategic direction for the next 3 years. Some areas for discussion will include how MBOPA can improve itself as an Organisation by making use of its wide network and updating its Constitution; coordination of MBOPA’s affiliates and adjuncts, eg. Marist associations outside of Samoa and Class organisations; provision of support (funds and human resources & expertise) to the Marist Brothers schools in Samoa.
  4. Marist Brothers Old Boys Union (as it was known) erected a water fountain in 1926 and named it after Brother Hilary Francis to remember his services in Samoa and American Samoa. This

fountain is still fresh in the memory of the old boys as they tell stories of it being a blessing to all who drank from it as it cooled their thirst from the scorching sun. This fountain was removed when the construction of the current Australian High Commission started. ‘Au o le Paipa is an initiative from the class ‘Form 4 SJC 1988’ to restore the fountain as part of remembering together.

  1. Marist Excellence Service Awards Ball: The highlight of the Anniversary will be the Marist Excellence Service Awards Ball on Saturday 15th September. This will be the main fundraising event for the celebrations where proceeds will go back to the development of Marist schools. At this Ball, fifteen awards will be handed out to outstanding members of the Marist fraternity to recognize and honour their services and input not only to MBOPA but also to the government and people of Samoa.

The Celebrations dates and time are noted in the Program below.

Thursday 13 September 2018
9am                    Opening Mass (Mulivai Cathedral)
11am – 3pm       Tree Planting (Vailima Reserve, Alafua and Mulivai)
4:30 – 5:30pm    Welcome Ava Ceremony (Fale Samoa, St Joseph’s College, Alafua)
6pm – 10pm       Welcome Cocktail and Book Launch

Friday 14th September 2018
9am – 1pm         Career Day (Centennial Hall, St Joseph’s College, Alafua)
1pm – 7pm         Marist Forum (formulation of MBOPA’s strategic plan) (SSAB Conference Room, Togafu’afu’a)
7pm – 11pm       Au Ole Paipa restoration of the Br Hilary Memorial Fountain, Mulivai)

Saturday 15th September 2018
9am – 1pm          Family Fun Day (St Joseph’s College, Alafua)
6:30pm – 11        Marist Excellence Service Awards Ball (Multipurpose Gym (Gym 3), Tuana’imato)

Sunday 16th September 2018
11am                     Closing Mass (Marcellin Champagnat Hall, Marist Brothers’ Primary School, Mulivai)
12pm                    To’ona’i (Marcellin Champagnat Hall, Marist Brothers’ Primary School, Mulivai)