Pasifika Update

By Scotty Opetaia | Posted: Tuesday July 21, 2020

The last two weeks of Term 2 proved to be a busy time for our students. With the return to school post lockdown, we celebrated Samoa Language Week / Vaiaso o le Gagana Samoa which was held on Sunday 24 May to Saturday 30 May. In addition, we were able to hold our first Fono night for 2020.

We celebrated SLW week by informing and advising staff on a number of Samoan traditions, sayings, ideas and concepts. This was followed by opening the last staff briefing that week with a traditional Samoan prayer.


A Samoan music playlist provided by Mr Taufua was created and sent out to staff to play during class time while students worked. The warm, easy listening and tropical tunes were a welcome change during the cold winter days.

Ie faitaga

As it has become a tradition here at OBHS over the last couple of years, our Pasifika students wore their traditional ie faitaga or tupenu to school to mark and represent SLW 2020 and the Pacifica Island students and community here at OBHS.

To celebrate the end of SLW, students were joined by the OBHS Pacific Island Hostel staff for the traditional photo which took place on the tower block stairs. Later that day, we were able to take some footage from top of the tower with the Samoan flag proudly displayed by old boy Layne Opetaia. The footage was provided by senior Hostel House Master Petelo Pita Sinamoni which was incorporated into the '25 press ups for 25 days' challenge which the Hostel staff started during lockdown.

Our awesome librarian Kate helped put together a colourful display in the library showcasing SLW and some photos of the old boys, phrases and words for students and staff to learn.

Fono Night

We held our first Fono night for 2020. We had members from the Pacific Island committee attend along with the Rector Mr Richard Hall and special guest Mr Brendon Williams from the Board of Trustees.

We had an awesome opportunity to get together and meet new Pacific Island students, parents and Aiga to the school. It was great to see so many Pacific Island old boys in attendance.

Over the remaining few weeks of the term we have had some winter sports return to some normality and encouraged students to help around the school and promote servant leadership within the schooling community.

Both the homework club and the study tutorials up at Mercy Hospital and at school were back up and running.

To finish off the school term, we invited students from Otago Girls' High School to join us for an end of term shared lunch.

As we went into the holidays, the 12th of July marked the start of Kiribati language week which was the third installment of our Pacific Island language weeks for 2020.

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