Father Api in front of St Mary's Hostel. from w
So it seems that St Mary's hostel, run by the Anglican Church in Labasa, is still going despite the trouble last year when floods did some damage and there was talk of closing it down. It does provide an important service to give accommodation for girls who are studying in Labasa. Once upon a time the land where St Mary's hostel stands, was owned by Peceli's father and he gave it to the Anglicans before he died in the 1940s. The land is low-lying and once there were little streams and plenty of crabs and fish to catch. Now it's part of Labasa township - which is still low-lying as we all know! I wonder if anywone has done some data collecting on the difference between students living at home and those living in hostels -such as Lelean, ACS, QVS, and others. Do the girls and boys do better at school if they are in a hostel environment during school terms?
Here is a piece from one of the Fiji newspapers a week or so ago.
‘Hostel life is challenging’
Hostel life is different from living at home. Students life in hostels or boarders do routine daily chores. They follow timetables. They have a time to wake up, have breakfast, lunch and dinner, bed time and even study time. Times are even programme when they are allowed to meet relatives. For a group of girls in the North who leave their homes in rural areas to study in urban schools, hostel life is challenging. They are taught to be independent because they live far from their parents. This includes 25 girls at an Anglican Church girls hostel in Labasa called the Saint Mary’s Hostel.
For new boarders, the start of the hostel life will take time to adapt. Some will be homesick because it is the first time they are far away from their parents. Sixteen-year-old Nunia Savu of Wainika, Cakaudrove said like most girls, the first weekend away from home was the toughest. But as days go by, they learn to adapt to the environment and hostel rules and easily make friends. Her second year at the hostel is a challenging one as she prepares for her Fiji School Leaving Certificate Examination. Savu said most of them opted to stay at the hostel because of time allocated for studies.
Labasa Arya Secondary School student, Maraya Bradburg said mingling with friends made her forget about how much she missed home. The Seaqaqa lass aims to pass with good marks this year to impress her parents. She is the eldest in her family.
Paulini Dilelekula of Naivaka Village, Bua said her parents struggled to put her in school for her own benefit. “I will not betray their trust and will work hard in school to make them happy,” she said.
Hostel matron, Mariana Fong Toy says the girls are given all the love and care away from the comforts of their homes. Mrs Fong Toy said accommodation provided at the hostel was for all races and religions and most girls form the best friendship during the duration of their stay.