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36th Foundation Day Celebrations

Don Bosco Technical School, Port Moresby, Gabutu

Gabutu: 36 Years on and Don Bosco Technical School- Gabutu continues to blossom and flourish as a beacon of hope in the South electorate of the National Capital District. In this part of the city, the Salesian mission continues to reach out to evangelize and educate the young and marginalized Papua New Guineans.

Now 2021, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Salesian community along with the dedicated staff and students put up a beautiful array of celebrations to commemorate the 36th anniversary of the school as well as to honour and celebrate the 206th Birth anniversary of St. John Bosco.

It was a beautiful sunny day on the 11th of August and the celebrations kicked off well with the Salesian Character Parade, Portrait Drawing and Board Decoration Competition. The activities were facilitated by Mr. Jason Jim and Mr. Leo Paraha. Each of the 25 classes were assigned a Salesian character for the students to work on. The competition brought out the artistry, creativity and ingenuity of the students and their class patrons and matrons. Surprisingly, the Short Course Classes came out as top three (3) overall for this activity: 9 Savio, 10 Cravario & Short Term Course- Motor Vehicle B.

The next day’s event brought the anticipation and excitement higher with Bosco Got Talent Show. Talented students went through rounds of audition and elimination prior to this event. The top 12 performances performed a range of talents from singing to rapping, break dancing to live band and Speech Choir. Even the staff couldn’t resist belting out a local number which got the students bringing the roof of the Kuronku Hall down. It came down to the winner Troy Dobbin from 11 Sandor sang a Bruno Mars version of Valerie by Amy Winehouse. For 2nd and 3rd placing, there was a tie between Julius Mondejar who performed break dancing and 12 Rinaldi Class who performed a Speech Choir. The Talent Show was directed by Mr. Vincent Numbos & Ms. Adi Lydia Tenakanai.

On Friday, 13th August, the school opened its doors to welcome other participating schools for the Academic & Technical Exhibit. The PCTA Park (Parents, Citizens & Teachers Association) was filled with charts, artifacts, models and projects put on display. The workshops were also open and made available for the visiting students to visit and observe projects and models on display. The Bosconians were very helpful and informative when explaining and demonstrating to the guests. Later, all students moved into the Kurongku Hall for the Salesianity Quiz. It was a tough battle between the year levels and in the end, the Gr.10 students came out as Champions. Their prizes were sponsored by Remington Technology Group.

‘Happy Bondei Don Bosco! Happy Bondei!’ (happy birthday) These were greetings and shouts of joy all around the school and community on Monday, 16th August. The students and staff came in their colourful Intramural shirts all high-spirited to celebrate the 206th birth anniversary of Don Bosco and what a way to celebrate the day with Mass and a beautiful choir from the community.

The students and staff also brought offerings in the form of garden produce and protein and all were given to the Sisters of Charity to be given to the prisoners. This was also a gesture to signify the work of Don Bosco with the young in prison.

The main celebrant was the Provincial- Fr. Greg Bicomong, SDB and concelebrated by Fr. Pedro Sachitula, SDB- Rector of DBTS. The sacrament of confession was made available as three priests sat down to welcome both students and staff.

The celebration continued on with touch rugby, soccer, futsal, volleyball and basketball. There was also Tug of War, a soccer table, darts, badminton and music filled the air. The atmosphere was electric and full of laughter, fun and oneness- family spirit. After all the fun, everyone gathered for lunch followed by awarding of certificates and prizes for the previous events.

To sum up the festivity, the school put up an Accademia on the Dream of Don Bosco for Oceania. The show was scheduled twice on 29th & 30th of August for the parents, guardians and guests and later for the student body. The accademia was also streamed live on FaceBook and was greatly received by those who watched the show. The play came in three (3) parts.

Part I of the play was about the dream Don Bosco had for Oceania. His dream was put into writing by Fr. Lemoyne, his biographer. Don Bosco believed that his dream is about God’s design for a remote future. He saw himself standing in front of a high mountain. He saw the Angel of Arphaxad and a host of angels dancing as well as a great number of people living all around the mountain and on its slopes speaking in foreign languages. The dream brought him deeper to see young people on the other side of the sea calling out to him ‘Come and Help Us!’ Don Bosco was not sure if it was Africa as the people are almost the same. He then saw Australia and the many islands of the Pacific and knew that is where the mission must go.

Part II was about the arrival of the first Salesians to Papua New Guinea; Fr. Val, Fr. Rolando and Br. Kramar. The pioneer Salesians, after arriving in Airaimiri, Gulf Province, built a Chapel in honor of the Blessed Mother. They were also asked by then Bishop Virgil Copas to take over St. Peter’s Vocational Centre which is now Don Bosco Araimiri Secondary School. The Salesians willingly accepted to work alongside the Bishop. There were adversities faced by the Salesians then. At one point, the food supply and water ran out and the students had to go home. In another instance, rascals came to steal from the dormitories. While travelling on sea, some roofing sheets were lost due to the bad weather condition but were later found tied to timber and brought to school by the villagers. Such a miracle!

Part III was about the Construction and Opening of Don Bosco Technical School in 1985, Gabutu- Port Moresby. There was a conversation between Fr. Val from Araimiri and Fr. Joseph Savina from Badili- Port Moresby and then between Fr. Savina and the construction worker and then the arrival of the first group of teachers from the Philippines to Port Moresby. The play ended with the arrival of then Prime Minister Late Grand Chief Sir Michael Thomas Somare who graced the official opening of Don Bosco Technical High School in 1985. The Accademia was directed by Ms. Rica Lavilla and Ms. Emily Novotna and Ms. Jana Gogo helped in the writing of the script.

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