On 23rd November 2018, Don Bosco Technical School (DBTS) in Gabutu had its 21st Speech Day with the theme: “Wokabaut Wantaim Ol Yangpela.” It was the Graduation Day for 83 Grade 12 students and 172 Industrial Training Course and National Certificate 2 students.
The day began with the Baccalaureate Mass presided by Fr. Alfred Maravilla SDB, the Superior of the Salesian Vice-Province of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Fr. Alfred started his homily by saying that the Eucharist is the most fitting way of giving thanks to God. He also exhorted the graduands to be grateful to their parents, guardians, Salesian educators, and to all who have sacrificed and struggled to provide them the opportunity to be educated in Don Bosco. At the conclusion of his homily, he left the graduands with a question to reflect on: “With the education you have received from Don Bosco, what will you do to contribute for the betterment of this country Papua New Guinea?” He reminded them again of what Saint John Bosco envisions every youth to become, that is, a “good Christian and honest citizen.”
The Kurongku Hall of DBTS was packed to capacity for the Graduation Ceremony. The Ceremony began with the National Anthem and Pledge led by the School Captain, Jeffrey Wangumari. It was followed by a Doxology rendered by Grade 11 Zatti students under the direction of Ms. Rical Lavilla. In his Speech, Fr. Angel Sanchez SDB, the Rector of DBTS, challenged the graduating students to always remember their identity and mission as Past Pupils of Don Bosco. He underlined that “there are no ex-Bosconians.” Hence the slogan: “Once a Bosconians, always a Bosconian.” He further explained why the school is called “alma mater,” a Latin term meaning “loving mother.” “The school is like a loving mother who has been nourishing her children by giving them sound education and holistic formation,” he said. He further pointed out that “Don Bosco Technical School has been in Gabutu for the past 33 years and has given birth to so many sons and daughters for more than 3 decades now.” It is true that “dispela gutpela mama em save wokabaut wantaim ol yangpela!” He wrapped up his message by reminding the graduating students to “put God first and the rest will fall in place.”
Dr. Ben Hanson, Senior Curriculum Officer from the Building and Civil Sector of TVET Operations was the Keynote Speaker. He spoke highly of DBTS’ role in providing technical training to Papua New Guineas which is necessary for nation-building. He emphasised that “we cannot take about development without the development of our human resources.” Taking the cue from Fr. Angel’s message, he also told the graduates:”Put God first in all you do.”
Special Awards were given to the best students and to those who have shown excellence. Two students were awarded with scholarship by International Training Institute: Henry Ofora of 12 Rinaldi and Martin Pule of 12 Albera. On behalf of the graduates, the recipient of the Technical Excellence Award, Clinton Louis of ITC 2 Electrical B, delivered the Valedictory Address. Mr. Martin Dai, the Principal of DBTS challenged the graduates to shine out like stars in the world by becoming servant-leaders.
The Bosconian graduates sang their hearts out as they rendered their Graduation Song entitled “My Wish For You.” And to cap off the beautiful ceremony, the Alma Mater Song was sung with much pride. It ends with a powerful message that will linger in the memory of every Bosconian: “Loving our land, helping all men. Youth of today, forward march!”

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