Day 4 Diary

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.

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Day 1 Diary

A 6:30am start was a little early after such a late night and we were in for a very busy day! We started with a practice march for our entry into assembly then we listened to the boys singing before their breakfast. Time then passed quickly as our events overlaped, we moved to the parade ground and formed up behind the band for our march into the incredible Tupou chapel for an inspiring assembly with singing, speeches and a short message.

After assembly we moved to a special welcoming ceremony that was superb. It was a real treat with singing, music and a band. The Newington boys even danced as part of the festivities. After the ceremony we had our breakfast that had somehow not fitted in with the timings!

Rugby was next on the agenda with a trip to the national stadium to see Tupou College 17As have a strong win. The First XV were next up but their opposition wisely stayed at home! This left us with the oportinity to run onto the national stadium, be presented with a Tongan Sipitau and then play a game of touch football with the First XV. (we didn’t take them up with their offer of a game of tackle!) We watched one more game of rugby before heading back to college to get some casual gear for a beach visit.

The beach was brilliant and we had a late lunch looking past the coconut trees and the beautiful reef watching a whale breach over and over. A game of touch and a swim really capped it off as the sun set magnificently.

We had a quiet trip home with some very tired boys. It was now dark and we dressed and move to have dinner (with a wait to adjust to Tonga time).

Dinner was a Tongan Feast and was amazing. It was accompanied with the mandatory speeches and finished quite late making for an easy transition to bed. we were all unable to believe how much we had been exposed to in the previous 24 hours.

Sunset  Touch Football inTonga
Sunset Touch Football inTonga by Declan Whyte
Sunset Tonga Style: Instagram shot by Mr Kolbe
Sunset Tonga Style: Instagram shot by Mr Kolbe

 

 

Arrival

We arrived in Tonga at a little before midnight and our evening had only just started.
We went through VIP checkin before our first dose of amazing Tupou hospitality as we were met with signs, singing and beautiful necklaces made by the ladies.
We travelled to Tupou College where we were treated with a welcoming feed and speeches. It was a fantastic night with a late 2:30pm finish!

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Parent Evening

The parent information evening to kick off the blog for the Tonga tour is well attended. The boys will take over the blog soon and upload content into the static pages and keep us up to date with the goings on of the tour! In the long term we will see the blog being the resource between the two schools as well as keeping us up to date.

Tour Staff
Some of the tour staff for the Tupou College tour
Getting ready for the Tongo Tour to Tupoa College
Getting ready for the Tonga Tour to Tupou College.