The St Mary’s Old Girls Association (SMOGA) in celebrating 65 years since the establishment of the St Mary’s College, allocated former students into 10 teams, to each conduct a community service activity, in line with the spirit of service and selflessness at the heart of the SMSM Sisters (Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary) who established the school in 1956.
The 10 teams of SMOGA former students chose 10 charitable activities that would give a helping hand and do good in the community, as part of their month-long celebrations.
Many not-for-profit and non-governmental organisations that help to fill various gaps in community work and social services in Samoa, were blessed by the SMOGA initiative.
To ensure there is a mixture of generations in each team, the 10 teams are grouped together by the last number of your entrance year to the school. To honor the school’s former principals, each team is named after the first ten Sister principals who led the school in its early years of establishment.
Here’s a brief look at the various community projects by the 10 teams. Many of the projects were carried out over this past weekend, with a few more to be implemented in the coming week.
Team 1: Sr Emerentiana. The Purple team visited the Sisters of the Carmelite Monastery in Vailima for early morning mass. They carried out a full clean-up of the compound and presented first aid kits that were specifically requested by the Carmelite Sisters.
The entrance years for Team 1 are 1961, 1971, 1981, 1991, 2001 and 2011.
Team 2: Sr Cyprian – The Pink team will be focusing on the children’s Paediatric Ward at Motootua National Hospital. This activity has been planned for Saturday 27th November. Team 2 are made up of those who entered in 1962, 1972, 1982, 1992, 2002 and 2012.
Team 3: Sr Aquin – The Orange team visited the children at the Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG). They took car loads of gifts including food, clothing, other essential supplies and books for the children survivors of domestic and sexual violence. They also set up a movie night for the resident children and teenagers of SVSG. They took along some pop corn and spent the evening in fellowship with the children. Members of Aquin said it was eye-opening for many who had visited SVSG for the first time and shared how they were touched by the positive attitudes of the children survivors despite their circumstances.
Team 3 are made up of former students who entered in 1963, 1973, 1983, 1993, 2003 and 2013.
Team 4. Sr Emanuela Betham – The Silver team carried out their tree planting project in partnership with MNRE at the Tuanaimato reserve to raise awareness of the impacts of climate change. The Silverines planted 200 tree saplings through this project for sustainable forest management. They hope to be a positive influence on future generations to take a stance against climate change.
Team 4 Silverines entered St Mary’s College in the years 1964, 1974, 1984, 1994, 2004 and 2014.
Team 5. Sr Mary De Paul – The Green team focused on the school compound at Vaimoso. The ladies are seen waterblasting and then painting the St Mary’s College administration block. The team spent an entire day from 7am to 5pm cleaning the school grounds. The Green Team also provided a brand new bed for the school’s sick bay area.
Team 5 are old girls from 1965, 1975, 1985, 1995, 2005 and 2015.
Team 6. Sr Vitolia Mo’a – The Red team will visit the women’s correctional facilities at Tuanaimato and bless the inmates with fellowship and gifts.
The Reds include those who entered in 1956, 1966, 1976, 1986, 1996, 2006 and 2016
Team 7. Sr Rose McAloon – The Brown team visited the Home of the Elderly at Mapuifagalele and the Little Sisters of the Poor. The ladies attended mass, and then spent the day cleaning up the compound. They took baskets of food and necessities, and then stayed on to fellowship and entertain the elderly.
Sr Rose McAloon team includes those who entered the school in 1957, 1967, 1977, 1987, 1997, 2007 and 2017.
Team 8. Sr Losalia Mulipola – The Yellow team visited the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary (SMSM) based at Vailoa. They took supplies of food and homeware and shared morning tea with the Sisters. Team Yellow also donated and installed a new air conditioning unit for SMSM.
The Yellow team are made up of only six entry years, being 1958, 1968, 1978, 1988, 1998 and 2008, with the 2018 students still currently in school.
Team 9. Sr Pelenatete Peni – The Maroon team spent their Saturday cleaning up the Moamoa Catholic Cemetery as part of their community project. The ladies painted the graves and carried out a full clean-up of the cemetery grounds, mowing the lawns and clearing rubbish. It was all-hands-on-deck to ensure the grave sites were cleaned and all of them painted white. Many of the early church missionaries were laid to rest there.
Team 9 Maroon entered St Mary’s College in 1959, 1969, 1979, 1989, 1999 and 2009.
Team 10. Sr Makelita Meni – The Blue team have chosen the Lotu Taumafai school for children with disabilities. This activity will be carried out in the coming week.
Team 10 old girls entered the school in 1960, 1070, 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010.
The St Mary’s College celebrations launched last Sunday with a mass and toanai. The month-long celebrations will end with a weekend of tausala night, sports day and final prize giving and mass.