Queen Salote College, Sunday School
Another aged, old photograph with boarders returning from the Centenary Church.
On Sunday's, each student goes to church in their home town. Boarding students dress in the school's white uniform and march together to the Free Wesleyan Centennary Church about 10 minutes walk to attend services. QSC girls are very proud of their prowse in singing the hymns, knowing their scriptures and knowing the orders of service used in the church.
It is a good thing that only the 200 boarders go together to the church service. When we have our annual QSC choir competition and the competition is held at the church, the school packs the building to the rafters. Mind you, a thousand secondary students take up a lot of space.
It's a good thing that discipline at the school is pretty rigorous, because a thousand girls make enough noise for two thousand. On the hand, we're just the right school to call on for singing the hymns "Oh for a thousand tongues to sing ..."
The Boarders get back from Sunday Service and inevitably find parents waiting at the school gate, or beside the kitchen with a basket of Sunday lunch. It has long been a tradition of the school for parents to bring Sunday lunch, since this is a specially prepared meal in most Tongan families. The lunch baskets are collected together by the teachers and students on 'duty' and guarded while the rest of the students return to their rooms and change for lunch. Mum and Dad usually hang around for a chance to just chat a little with daughter before they head back home.
Sunday lunch is never of course normal. If you get some surprising delicious items then you're obliged to share it with your friends, if they haven't liberated you of them already. Sometimes the brothers come to tease you and your friends, but you soon forget them and their childish ways. Back to your friends, and you start up a conversation while you dig in gleefully into what mum, dad and the family has specially put aside for you. The bigger girls do the rounds to make sure the babies are doing ok, and whether there are any 'gifts' for them from the over protected.
Oh yeah, after lunch we take a short break when some take a short sleep, others rush around like mad trying to find their notebooks, while others still haven't removed themselves from their almost empty baskets. One must always remember to save some of the lunch for later in the evening.
Boarders, and QSC girls in town, have Sunday School classes at the Boarding School. The classes are lead by teachers just like another class, except it is less formal and we sit about on the lawn listening to the teacher recount the stories in the Bible.
Together, we prepare plays/dramas that we often use when leading our morning assemblies or evening worship programs. We definately like singing, and we definately work hard to know as much of the Wesleyan hymn book as possible. This comes in very handy when you forget your hymn, and so you know what the correct tune, rhythm and intonations should be. Hopefully you never have to initiate the singing at church, but it seems many of the ladies to whom churches are indebted for leading worship are QSC old timers. So I guess it helps there too.
The afternoons are basically free, since we don't do any of the grounds work on Sundays, and we spend the time chasing each other around (quietly) or doing small things here and there. In the evening we all trot off to clean up, shower, and head for the bed.
At night, the lights go out.
[ref: Photos used © Sarah Raasch]