Morning was relatively quiet with no activities beginning before breakfast. However the main events began after the boys ate their breakfasts that were prepared by many female staff of Tupou College. The first event was the opening of the container outside the library at 9am with the whole school gathering round for a short ceremony before the gifts were distributed to the various departments at Tupou College.
The Tupou headmaster the Dr Reverend Fisiii’hoi began the ceremony with a speech; highlighting the strong connection between Newington and Tupou College and how it continues to grow with Newington’s contribution of the container full of gifts this tour. The ceremony finished with a prayer and the container was open by Phil Lemoto and the Tupou Head Prefect. The container doors flew open and provoke cheers and clapping from Tupou and Newington students alike. The donations from various sources meant that there was a vast array of clothing and equipment; from a leg press machine, to large sums of jackets from Hurlston Park Wanderers Football Club. The generosity of the Newington community was very much appreciated by the Tupou boys; who were smiling and grinning as they carried the gifts to various departments. The unloading of the container was done by Newington boys with the help of the Tupou technical class (the majority of which were First XV rugby players), which led to the speedy completion of what seemed to be a gargantuan task.
Following the unloading of the container, the touring party was split into the Rugby boys and the service learning boys, who were then directed to do their respective events. The service learning boys went into classrooms to interact with some Year 8 gifted and talent students from Tupou, whereas the Rugby boys played touch footy and card games with some of the Tupou children. This very relaxed and mellow period for the rugby boys came to conclusion as they had to prepare for the afternoon fixture against the Tupou U15A’s Rugby side.
The whole school flocked to the rugby field to watch our boys go up against a slightly intimidating Tupou side. The crowd was divided with half going for Newington and half going for Tupou; however Newington had the slight edge with the females cheering from the Newington bench. The crowd and players were on their feet while the Australian and Tongan national anthem was played and the crowd applauded the teams as Newington was lead out by Brodie Mellor and Tupou was lead out by their captain. The first half was a sheer display of brute force from the Tupou side which lead them into the break at 12-0. Newington regained some composure to allow Tom Piroddi over the line to score an unconverted try to bring the score to 12-5, which was eventually the final score. The unwavering support from the Tupou crowd for both teams was a excellent example of the strong sense of community at Tupou and Tonga itself. Battered and bruised, the boys wandered off the field to hear speeches and to watch prizes being given to the captains and the man of the match, the inside centre for Tupou College.
After the game, the boys filed back to the dorm to clean up before they went into some classrooms to talk to some Year 7’s and play a few card games with them. Their time with the Tongan students was short lived as they were summoned to the Library for dinner. The rest of the evening was very relaxed with the boys finishing their dinner and then going off to bed. The boys described the day as being fun, scary, hard, however they all said that it was worth it.