Tour to Tupou College
The boys and staff have just returned from their annual visit to Tonga which continues to deepen the relationship between the two schools, the ONU and the current boys.
Hon Secretary ONU, Karl Watson (ON ’86) travelled with the touring party and shares his experience below:-
“During July the school toured Tonga with a rugby team and a service learning group and I tagged along as the ONU representative. I met up with some Tongan Newington Old Boys including Steve Finau and Man Latu. The tour visited Steve at his house and were able to see firsthand his wheelchair friendly house and car and I was able to explain the how the ONU assisted Steve after his accident. I met the President and Secretary of the Tupou College Old Boys Association and was amazed at the similarities between their organisation and the ONU. I accompanied the Tupou Old Boys (along with the rest of the tour group) to the Royal Palace for a pre royal wedding ceremony. This was quite an honour which is not extended to many foreigners at all. I was also on the interview panel to award a bursary to a Tupou College student to come to Newington. Two bursaries were eventually awarded to two fine young Tongan men who are looking forward to starting at Newington in 2013.
All up it was an extremely worthwhile trip. The Newington/Tongan relationship is becoming stronger every year as more young Tongan men come to study at Newington. The generosity and love extended by the Tongan people to the Newington tour party has to be experienced to be believed.”
The current Newington boys also had a wonderful time – here is an excerpt taken from the blog written by the boys whilst on tour:-
The Tupou headmaster the Dr Reverend Fisiii’hoi began the ceremony with a speech; highlighting the strong connection between Newington and Tupou College and how it continues to grow with Newington’s contribution of the container full of gifts this tour. The ceremony finished with a prayer and the container was open by Phil Lemoto and the Tupou Head Prefect. The container doors flew open and provoke cheers and clapping from Tupou and Newington students alike. The donations from various sources meant that there was a vast array of clothing and equipment; from a leg press machine, to large sums of jackets from Hurlstone Park Wanderers Football Club. The generosity of the Newington community was very much appreciated by the Tupou boys; who were smiling and grinning as they carried the gifts to various departments. The unloading of the container was done by Newington boys with the help of the Tupou technical class (the majority of which were First XV rugby players), which led to the speedy completion of what seemed to be a gargantuan task.
And while the boys from Tupou and Newington weren’t attending ceremonies and unpacking containers they were having a little fun just being “boys”.
For more great information on this tour go to the blog.