It was a brief walk down memory lane for former St Joseph`s principal Brother Columba Gleeson who visited the secondary school yesterday morning to sign a special mural commemorating the La Salle brothers` indelible contribution to the institution.
Bro. Columba, who served as school principal from 1970 until 1987, was warmly welcomed by a small group of students, teachers, staff and alumni led by current school principal Thomas Lau.
When invited to say a few words prior to signing the mural, the La Sallian brother urged the students, teachers and alumni to carry on the La Sallian traditions and values, not to worship them but to build on them with their own contributions as time moves on.
After signing the mural, Bro. Columba was led on a short tour around the school to view 10 plaques recently put up to remember the contributions of the La Salle brothers who had served in the school as teachers, senior assistants and principals throughout the school`s history.
The mural was a project by the school`s Young La Sallian movement and was inspired by the school`s 131th anniversary this year, teacher-in-charge Stella@ Caroline John Bosco Biscop told The Borneo Post.
“As St Joseph`s is one of the La Sallian schools in Malaysia and one of two such schools in Sarawak, we thought that we wanted to impart a reminder of the tradition and values of the school,” she said.
The mural located in the school`s canteen area celebrates the La Sallian values of faith, service and community.
It shows a deeply-rooted tree with heart shaped leaves upon which a five-pointed star rests, and the phrase “Lasallian Spirituality Expressed with Zeal, Transmitted Through Community and Rooted in Faith”.
According to Stella, the tree symbolises a person`s religious faith regardless of religion they profess, which enables them to work well to serve others in a spirit of community and together they can produce excellent results.
“By `Faith`, it means belief in God, whatever religious faith you believe in; while `Service` means to serve those in need and the marginalised – `the lost, the last and the least`; and finally, `Community` means by association in a group. The star represents the excellence we can achieve together,” she said.
The painting was subsidised by the school`s art club. Stella designed the mural which was brought to life by Art Teacher Rechard Meijin who took about one month to complete the piece in his free time.
ALL FOR ONE: Bro. Columba (5th right) posing for a photo with some of the teachers and staff in front of the mural at St Joseph’s yesterday. On his right is current school principal Thomas Lau
SIGNING IN: Bro. Columba signing the special mural witnessed by St Joseph’s principal Thomas Lau.
MOVING ON: Bro. Columba (in chequered shirt) posing for a photo with some of the students in front of the mural yesterday. It shows a deeply-rooted tree with heart shaped leaves topped by a five-pointed star, and the phrase ‘Lasallian Spirituality Express
CANDID: Bro Columba reacts with humour after seeing for the first time the plaque commemorating his service as school principal.