My best memory of Marist relates to an event that exemplified for me and my family the care and support that the school extends to it’s students both past, or present, in times of need. In 1966 when I was still a student, my elder brother, Joseph, on an engineering scholarship to Christchurch died in a tragic accident there. Joseph was a very active student in his time, participating in all aspects of school life and very popular with both the staff and students alike. His death was felt at the school, the school took time off to pay their respects to my family including attending the funeral service. The school also asked and my parent agreed to have a group of senior students representing each ethnic group at Marist Brothers High School (MBHS) to became the pall bearers. It is gratifying therefore to see our Marist Old Boys (MOB) reaching out in the same spirit to those affected by unfortunate events in life.
In addition to what I gained academically to assist me getting jobs and everything that comes consequently, what has helped me most in life because of attending Marist High is an appreciation and celebration of diversity. This is something that all of my four brothers who attended Marist dating back to 1955 have also mentioned as the school’s best contribution to life. I don’t think this was something unplanned by the school.
In 1944 when Br. Lambert (then the Principal) when asked by the NZ Education Dept about the aim and mission of the school he wrote , and I paraphrase “ .
“… the school has a diverse group of students from all ethnic groups in Fiji …..in spite of this mixing, there is a splendid tone and a fine spirit of comradeship. They learn to respect one another’s good qualities ……. We believe that thus racial prejudices are broken down and a way is made clear for the removal of those barriers that tend to create disorder in the Colony.”
Unfortunately, what brought me to America relates to the events of 1987 when future livelihood in Fiji became unpredictable for me and my family. We also had family here. I started working for the City and County of San Francisco at the Controllers Office and in my last position before I retired, at the Public Utilities Commission.