by Chrystie Coburn-Woods
Recently, the seven Catholic schools of the South West Catholic Kahui Ako converged on St Thomas of Canterbury College for their first cultural festival.
This event was opened by the senior Choir of St Thomas', who were absolutely outstanding. St Peter's, Beckenham, then followed with a cultural dance expo, encompassing six young dancers who were Filipino, Irish, Scottish, Indian, and Tongan. Our Lady of Victories School looked incredible in their cultural dress and performed Tuhia / Te Iwi E, the Blessing / Ko Te Whirika and the Hawaikinui / Haka.
Next up was St Teresa’s School, Riccarton, who brought so much energy to the stage with their performances of Tongan and Samoan dance, Sasa, and their school Haka. St Bernadette’s show-cased their amazing junior and senior Kapa Haka groups, and Our Lady of the Assumption School, Hoon Hay, performed three beautiful waiata, Whai Hua Tātou, A Te Tarakihi, and Purea Nei. Then it was the Wahine Toa from Villa Maria College. The very talented Filipino Maria’s executed a beautiful performance, showing immense skill and rhythm. They were followed by their incredible Kapa Haka group, who performed three items, including Ka Waiata and a powerful performance of the chant Ka tū te tītī. St Thomas’ closed this event with their breath-taking Choir and very impressive school Haka.
The St Thomas’ stage was an absolute visual symphony with each performance, showing an excellent display of diverse and unique cultures. To quote our final young speaker, “Our hearts will be swollen with pride.” A credit to all the southwest school staff who helped make this event so successful.