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Sunday, November 8, 2009

St Mary's Hostel celebrates it's annual Thanksgiving and Appreciation Day

The boarders with the Board and Management members

Sandakan : The St Mary's Hostel, situated some 4 km from the town centre, held its annual thanksgiving and appreciation day on Saturday, 7th November 2009 with Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom as the guest of honour.

John Pang, the Chairman of the Board of Governors in his opening speech welcomed Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom for his first official visit to the hostel. Also in attendance were Fr Thomas Makajil, rector of St Mary's Cathedral, the religious sisters, parish group leaders, benefactors and parents of the boarders. He thanked the management committee headed by Francis Chai for their concerted effort in running and managing the hostel.

John Pang in his opening speech

He briefly touched on the background of the hostel. It began operation 4 years ago with an initial intake of 10 boarders and to date the number had soared up to 21. This year four boarders will sit for the STPM while 1 other will sit for the SPM exam. Apart from the daily routine of self and guided studies, the boarders are also given catechesis on faith formation and they are also involved in church activities.

He said, 'Though the operation cost is high but the boarders mainly from the remote areas had benefitted tremendously from the project. I want to thank all benefactors for their generous financial support.'

Bishop Julius told the boarders to make full use of the conducive hostel facilities and to concentrate on their studies especially those who are preparing for their exam scheduled on 18th November. He further went on to remind them not to disappoint their parents of their hopes and aspirations.

Bishop Julius delivering his speech

'I am happy to note that the Cathedral Parish had undertaken such a worthy and noble project to reach out and to touch the hearts of the less fortunate', this he shared in his speech.

One of the boarders sharing his experience

Bishop Julius presenting a trophy to a boarder

Datuk Alek Khoo presenting a gift to a boarder

and a souvenir to Bishop Julius

The event of the day also includes some presentations by the boarders and giving away of prizes to high academic achievers. It ended with a lunch reception where everyone had the opportunity to interact in building up a harmonious relationship.

Article by Raymond Wong and photos by George Bell

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