Congratulations to the parish priest and his assistant, Frs Peter Puamae sm and Soane Ahohako sm, and to the parishioners of the St John the Evangelist Parish, Dala, Malaita Province, Solomon Islands for the successful completion of its new church building. The parish is grateful to Marist Mission Center (MMC), Sydney for being the main donor of the new church project. MMC has been instrumental in so many development projects, both religious and community, in the Solomon Islands. Other donors are the General administration of the Marist Fathers, and a group of Tongans living in Sydney, Australia. The donation from the parishioners both in kind and money made up more than half of the total cost. On the 27th December, the feast of St John the Beloved, their patron saint, Bishop Peter Houhou, the Bishop of the Diocese of Auki in which Dala is a part of, opened the new Church. It was a festive day not only for the parishioners but for the diocese of Auki.
Ad multos annos Fr Bernard Gidrol sm
Fr Bernard Gidrol sm, the second oldest Marist in Oceania Province celebrated his 90th birthday on the 3rd of December at St Anne's church, Noumea, New Caledonia. Celebrating with him were limited number of parishioners and friends due to lockdown protocols which began in September. He presided the Holy Eucharist accompanied by Fr Francois Grossin sm, two permanent deacons, Nisie from New Caledonia and charismatic Mederic from Tahiti. It was a joyful occasion to thank God for his life of service in Mary's ways in the Sector of New Caledonia which he has led as its leader for a number of times.
Graduation in Tutu
On the 9th of December 49 young farmers in the Tutu Rural Training Centre were graduated in the presence of the Fiji Minister of Agriculture and Environment, Hon Dr Mahendra Reddy, Fr Provincial, Setefano Mataele sm, the Director of Tutu, Fr Petero Matairatu sm, board members, family of the graduants, Tutu Staff and supporters. In his guest of honor speech the Hon Ministers reminded the young farmers, "You're now equipped with a new body of knowledge, skillsets, enthusiasm, energy and vision to go back to your areas, and villages and contribute to the development of the community, grow, and in the process contribute to national development." In the graduating student's speech, Kositatino Bulavakarua thanked both Tutu and the government of Fiji who has and is continuing to be the main financial support for Tutu's operation. The young farmers who graduated came from the three provinces of Cakaudrove, Bua and Macuata. They graduated with a detailed 5 year plan to help them in the development of their farming ventures.