Dear Editor,

Please allow me to add my words of appreciation, acknowledgement and congratulations to the past and the current staff and students of Waimapuru in the celebration of the school's silver jubilee.

As a former student of the school, having spent the whole of my seconday school life at Waima (1993 - 1998) I had regarded the school as a "home away from home" when I was a high school student.

But I would not have liked the place so much without the many generous and unforgetable people that I have met there, both alive and deceased.

When I joined the school I was a kid. It was the first time in my life to be separated from my parents and the first time to sleep on a bunk bed. This showed when I fell off my bed one night in 1993 and landed on a much-shaken prefect Mr. Chris Pupuro's, who was studying just below me on his desk. He was shaken and startled and was quite unsure whether he should be really angry, laugh or felt sorry for me.

Literally I grew up at Waimpauru and so in my years there I have mastered all the roads and secret locations around the thick bushes of the Waima land. I remembered one time when I removed my friend, Mr Michael More's banana which he had hidden in the bush for it to rippen. I later went there and took the bunch of banana (ripe) and left a $1 coin where I took the banana from and went to the dormitory and shared the banana with him. He was most thankful then, but was totally a different person when he later found out that his banana has been removed and instead of it there was a $1 coin. We later laughed about it many years later when I met him in Honiara with his young son.

I left the school in 1998 and when I went around there again in 2002, the place was a total mess. The school was in a sad state as all the halls and shower blocks were totally run-down. It was a far cry from the time I was there when Mr. James Iroga was the School Principal. But despite its state, its was still operating and I learnt that repair and maintenance was ongoing.

I managed to meet an old teacher there Mr. Ambrose Havi ( who is still there right now) and who is the longest serving Waima teacher to date. I also learnt that the old chief chef Mr Pehuru has passed away. It was a sad realisation for me because literally Mr Pehuru has fed me for six years as a cook at Waima, and in that period I had grown from being a child who has rarely left my home village and family to a boy who can now speak good pidgin.

On reflection, Waimapuru School has impacted greatly on my personal achievements and outlook of life. I have learnt a lot from many life-tme friends that I have met there, including teachers and students. Bart Tauto later become my tutor iin Foundation, but his life was tragically cut short when he was ran-over by a drunk and careless driver early one Tuesday morning.

On a national level, Wimapuru holds a very place in the future of education in Solomon Islands. In my narrow-minded opinion, it is the only location apart from SICHE that can be host to a tertiary instutition (University). It has abundant land mass and fertile soil and above all Makira is always a lovely place to be.

So on that note I wish the past and current staff and students of Waimapuru a happy silver jubilee celebration. While we celebrate, let us reflect on how far Waimapuru has come and let us also enivsage what its future will be.