1999 was the first full academic year for Patricia and me. For me, the year’s
memorable event started with the Sport’s season.’ I had so much fun helping
to train our student athletes and watching them improve everyday. Hingano
would lead the early morning running exercises, and Tali lead the afternoon
warm-ups running around the field with the athletes in pursuit. I was so glad
that I didn’t have to run around with them! When the competition took place,
I was amazed at the number of schools that participated, and I was happy that
our QSC athletes did so well taking many medals and setting new records. As
for the students under the big blue and white tent, they are the best cheerleaders
in the kingdom!
events took place this year that again reminded me of the special role QSC
plays in the kingdom. The opening of Parliament was a chance for me to march
with students and teachers to the palace and greet the King. I was very happy
to see former QSC students I taught last year on the sidewalks calling out
greetings. I felt like we were celebrities. On a more somber note, I was grieving
to witness the traditional royal ceremonies and customs at the funeral of
Prince Tu’ipelehake. I will always carry a vivid picture in my mind of so
many men carrying the funeral bier to the Royal Tombs. It had to be so heavy!
It was interesting to have such a close-up view of this process and it has
given me a greater appreciation of the Tongan ways of life and death. The
death Prince Tu’ipelehake also marked 100 days of mourning, and it seemed
that with everyone wearing black for so long a time, it came as a surprise
to see bright colors again.
Even closer to home was the death of our own Matthew Kurian. I’m sure we
were all surprised and saddened when we learned about the death of this good
gentleman and the circumstances surrounding it.’ His funeral was very moving
for me, and reminded me of funerals usually reserved for Heads of State back
home in the US. I was overwhelmed by the magnificent church services and the
great numbers of people that attended. It felt so reassuring to be part of
the QSC family of students and teachers as we all marched together before
we said our final goodbyes ’ ‘Ofa atu Matthew!
As we closed out the academic year, it was with a great sense of satisfaction
to know that our students participated in various academic competitions such
as the titration competition, the National Science Quiz and Chem Quiz 99.’
Congratulations to those that participated and to the 2nd Place
winners in the National Science Quiz!’ I now feel that I have been at Queen
Salote College long enough now to have a favorite hymn. The last word rhymes
with ‘Christopher’. Can you guess it?
[ref: ’ Peter Pella 1999]