Welcome to our good friends from PNG.

It is with great excitement that St Mary's College welcomes Principal Mr Greg Neville, staff and students from OLSH International School and Sacred Heart School, Kavieng PNG who will form a combined Rugby League team to participate in the 2015 Confraternity Shield. These students will form the first overseas team who will participate in this carnival.

Ten St Mary's College boys visited PNG and the students from OLSH International school during the holidays of Term 1 2015 and it is with great pleasure that they can return their hospitality with a visit to our school and by caring and supporting the boys while preparing for and participating in the 2015 Confraternity Shield.

Ms. Angela Collins (Middle Leader – Welfare), who organised the group of boys who visited PNG students in Term 1 said “We are thrilled to return the hospitality and friendship that we were overwhelmed to receive from the boys, their families and the community of OLSH International School”.

Many of the boys from PNG participating in the carnival are from poor villages and families, so such a visit has only been made possible through the generosity and goodwill of our students, families and the wider community of both St Mary's College and Toowoomba.

With little publicity, many generous people have come to the fore to ensure that this tour becomes a reality for these boys from PNG. Here are some examples of this generosity:

-          $10000 towards flights and team hoodies have been donated by Shamrock Engineering.

-          Bus travel to and from Toowoomba and Ipswich each day has been donated by Arnold’s Buses, Pittsworth.

-          St Mary's College students have donated warm clothes, care packs, sleeping bags, pillows and  towels for each boy.

-          Billets have been organised by St Mary's College families.

-          Downlands College has organised boarding accommodation during the carnival.

-          Tracksuits and playing gear has been donated by Digicel PNG.

-          Betros Brothers are donating fresh fruit every day.

-          Brumbies are donating fresh bread each day.

-          Mary MacKillop Catholic College are donating freshly baked morning teas.

-          Ben & Chris Walker (Former NRL stars and old boys of the College) and coaches of the Ipswich Jets have organised training sessions for the boys.

-          A PNG ex-Rugby League international, Matt Elara has organised a motivational and coaching session in Toowoomba on arrival.

-          Trevor Gillmeister (Rugby League Great) will be conducting a training session and a talk with the boys on Thursday afternoon.

 

This outpouring of generosity, care, and ‘hearty’ goodwill is outstanding. Mr Michael Newman (Principal) stated that “It makes you so proud to belong to the St Mary’s College family and the wider Toowoomba community, where people have generously donated travel, food, time, expertise, accommodation and gifts to make the boys stay one that they will not forget.”

The presence of OLSH International School and Sacred Heart School is a great blessing for St Mary's College and the boys involved. Many life long friends have been formed, lessons learnt, ideals shared and hearts opened.

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