Remar Bourke Solidarity Immersion 2019
Please read Pat Lavery’s reflection on this important formation experience for the members of our Remar Blue Caravel:
At 4:00am on Friday 13 September, 13 boys and four teachers departed on the 14-hour bus journey that would take us to Bourke, in northern New South Wales. The boys, along with Mario Frazzetto, Pauline Bellofiore, Natalie Ciardulli and Michelle Abrahmsen, spent a week working at St Ignatius Primary School, rotating between working with the children in the classroom as well as building and doing maintenance work around the school. The projects that we undertook this year involved building a small obstacle course in the yard from logs that were lying around the school, rebuilding the sandpit and replacing the sand, putting up a shade sail, repainting the lines on the courts, and other smaller maintenance projects.
With temperatures reaching as high as 36 degrees, and the boys working from 9:00 in the morning to 4:30 in the afternoon, the work was long, hard and challenging, but the smiles on the faces of the school kids as they played on the obstacle course, or crammed into the sandpit made the blisters, tiredness and soreness all worth it. It was amazing to see the attitudes of all the children and teachers at St Ignatius as they went about their day; their constantly positive attitudes were inspirational! No matter how little these kids had, or what troubles they were going through in their lives, they came to school with positive attitudes, were genuinely happy to be there and were always ready to learn.
The kids in St Ignatius embraced us with open arms (quite literally, it became a common occurrence to see the Marcellin boys struggling to walk due to many of the primary school kids hanging on to their various limbs and being hugged by many more), and we were accepted into the school community with genuine joy and happiness that we were there. Their welcome was only one of the reasons that the immersion was one of the most challenging, amazing and rewarding experiences that many of the caravel members have ever taken part in. The real reward was the friendships that were formed throughout the trip, between the Remar boys and the kids and teachers of St Ignatius, but also the strengthening of the bond within the Caravel. All the boys, as well as the teachers, are so grateful for the incredible pilgrimage and we hope that we can use this trip as an inspiration to make a difference in our community. We would like to thank the teachers that accompanied us on this trip: without Mario, Pauline, Michelle and Natalie, as well as the efforts of Jamie McIlroy and the Ministry Team back at Marcellin, this incredible trip would never have been possible.