Samoan culture on show at St John Bosco College as Alafua students kick off Australian tour

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The culture of Samoa and the Salesian charism were on display at St John Bosco College, Engadine, on 26 August.

Forty-five students from Don Bosco Technical Centre in the Samoan capital of Alafua performed at the college on the first leg of a fundraising tour of Salesian schools and parishes across Australia.

College principal Damien Carlton said Engadine students had visited the technical centre on several occasions as part of an ongoing relationship between the two schools, which are both within the Australia-Pacific Salesian province.

“This is the first opportunity ever for their students to come to Australia,” he told The Catholic Weekly.

The three-week tour of traditional song and dance will include Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart and Brisbane.

The group was led by former St John Bosco College principal Fr Chris Ford.

“The tour gives them an opportunity to express their Samoan culture, their spirituality, and their connection with the Salesian charism,” Mr Carlton said.

“Our students are very aware of the global connection of the Salesians, and this is a great example of that.”

The Salesians were founded by Italian priest St John Bosco, who established schools to give underprivileged young people opportunities to study or learn a trade.

More than 170 years later, the technical centre in Alafua has a similar purpose.

“This is something of ‘second chance’ school,” Mr Carlton.

“Many of these boys didn’t finish school, so this trade training centre gives them new opportunities.

“It gives them a trade and it also gives them a sense of pride and values.”

Mr Carlton said the Bosco community had, over the past two years, donated money to help cover travel expenses for the tour, which will then raise money for the technical centre through ticket sales.

While fundraising proceeds had not yet been tallied, Mr Carlton described the evening as “an absolute success”.