- Isabella Saleu
Celebrating the Month of Don Bosco
Port Moresby: As we commence the month of August, for some, it may just be an ordinary month, but for me and my Salesian family, it is the month of our Father, Teacher and Friend - St. John Bosco. For us as Bosconians, it is the most exciting time of any year. It is the month that we all like to say we have a "second birthday." It is the only month where we have celebrations right through the month. I ponder on the programs of the past year.
Our program included the annual Rector's Cup. The opening of this event is such a splendid occasion as you see seas of different colours that represent different trades. Each with colourful banners and creative war cries accompanied by marches. The games itself are what we call "friendly wars" as friends separate to be in their classes to challenge each other in different sporting codes. Then we have the Battle of the Bands, where our youngsters showcase their talents in a group combination of singing, playing instruments and maybe some dancing to impress the judges! On occasions, a Musical on the life story of our Patron Saint titled 'Man with a Dream' may be staged. We had an Open House or sometimes referred to as a Technical Day and we have cultural shows. Here in Papua New Guinea, this is when our Bosconians dress in their traditional attires and share their traditional dances and songs. It is such a wonderful experience to see students embrace and be a part of their culture showcasing so much diversity yet, one under the Don Bosco banner.
There is also a Don Bosco quiz; drawing competitions, soccer table tournaments to find out the top 2 players of the school as soccer table is a Bosconian tradition. Individual fun games, face painting, talent and fashion shows, a quest for Mr and Ms Bosco and free choice dancing are all part of the entire month's activities. The highlight of all these however, is a Eucharistic Mass dedicated to St. John Bosco where one of our beloved Salesians will remind us once again of the life and values of Don Bosco and urge us to be like him. Then we will all sing WANTOK BOSCO with all our strength, our hearts and all our voices together like it was the last time we were singing. After that we would greet each other ‘Happy Feast Day Bosconian!' to the next Bosconian and the next Bosconian and the next Bosconian making sure hugs go around as well and end it with a special meal. The announcement of winners of all the activities at the last day of the month is what we close such an exhausting but fun-filled time!
My other Bosconian brothers and sisters will agree that life has never been the same after Don Bosco. Personally, this month truly humbles me, because I am again reminded of how a little boy at age 9 dreamt about me, how this little boy thought of me, my future, and gave his life to God to make sure I'd be properly guided and mentored to live my life to the fullest in all of God's graces.
To the very people that make things happen, of course every day is a time to say thank you but it never sounded so sincere and meaningful during the month of August to say it to the Priests and Brothers of the Salesians of Don Bosco as well as to the Salesian Sisters who continue to make that dream a reality exactly 206 years down. As our month arrives, from one Bosconian to another, happy, happy, happy celebrations to you, enjoy safely and responsibly in the spirit of Don Bosco!