St. Vincent Day, 25 September, is a day when we remember his life and his works of charity, especially to the disadvantaged people during his time that earned him a ticket to be in heaven with the angels. For the St. Vincent Secondary School in Oyugis, we also celebrate St. Vincent Day by celebrating the achievements of the brothers in extending the works of mercy to the community of Othiere and the Oyugis parish at large.
At 8:00 am the school ground was well arranged and the guests started arriving as from 8:30 am. The school deputy principal Mr Bernard Wandede reminded the visitors to have their face masks as directed by the ministry of health. The school principal Br. Christopher Akunga welcomed the visitors and cracked a joke by asking the visitors to relax and feel wherever they love to be most which is not necessarily at home. After welcoming all the guests, the principal invited Fr. Tom Nicholus Mboya, the parish priest of St. Peter the Apostle Oyugis Parish to grace the celebration with the Holy Mass.
The first reading in Mass, from 1 Cor 1:26-31, was read by the school president, Mr. Michael Okinyi. It was about God choosing and using the humble i.e. the foolish according to human eyes to fulfil his mission. The responsorial psalm (Ps 112:1bc-2, 3-4, 5-7, 7-8, 9) was led by the school choir, and the response was “blessed the man who fears the Lord”. The gospel was from the Gospel of Matthew 9:35-38.
In his homily, Fr. Tom related the work of the brothers in Oyugis Parish to the Mission of Jesus. In the Gospel reading it was clear that Jesus saw the need and moved to act, and in the same way the brothers were moved by the prevailing circumstances in the village of Othiere where the school is situated.
Entertainment and speeches
After mass, the master of ceremony Mr. Obwaya took over. Mr. Obwaya is the History and C.R.E teacher and he is also the school’s ceremony master in any occasion. He also teaches Music. He is a very talented, funny and always entertaining teacher. He invited the school choir to lead in singing the new school anthem as he requested all to stand. It was composed for the school by Mr. Obwaya and the Principal, Br. Christopher. The anthem was followed by a welcoming song; ‘Oh welcome to St Vincent’ that was also composed by Mr. Obwaya. After the songs there was time for some speeches.
The first speaker was Brillin Akinyi, a form two student. In her speech she thanked the school administration for having such a celebration, and she thanked the brothers for the works of mercy they are doing. She promised the brothers that she will not let them down. She also thanked the visitors who were mostly school alumni whom she said inspired the students by their successful life after hard work and determination during their time at school.
Then the principal, Br. Christopher, took the stage to introduce the teachers. It was a surprise to most of the visitors who were expecting a huge and elderly man, to see that the principal is a young and such enthusiastic brother.
The principal went on giving the brief history of St. Vincent de Paul and how he is connected to the brothers CMM. He explained why it is important to celebrate our patron saint. He reminded the teachers and all the non-teaching staff that they are doing the mission of St. Vincent. He told them that St. Vincent did the ordinary things in an extraordinary way so they should as well do their duties in an extraordinary way.
Then one of the parents was invited to speak on behalf of all parents. Mr. John Nyabando, a form one parent, stood and thanked the school administration for organising the celebration. He as well appreciated the teachers for the good moulding of their kids.
The next speaker was the area chief (chief Chulchil Siwo) who was a teacher at St. Vincent before his appointment as the area chief. The chief appreciated the developments that have taken place in the school and he appreciated the brothers for the wonderful work at St. Vincent Secondary School. He highlighted some of the moments when he was one of the staff, and how they used to fight for the lessons.
Another speaker was the area’s Member of County Assembly (M.C.A) Mr. Bob. He was happy to be part of the celebration. He thanked the school administration for the good relationship between them. He requested all stakeholders i.e. the parents, the teachers and the area administration, to work together with the brothers so that the school will achieve its highest potential.
Guests and students in the spotlight
After some entertainment, the guests were invited to take the stage. Their leader called all school alumni. Most of the years were represented from 2004 to 2017. After their introduction the guest speaker took over to give her speech. Madam Elizabeth Achar obtained her Certificate of Secondary Education at St. Vincent in 2008, and she is now a teacher. She started by thanking the brothers for making her what she is. She narrated how difficult it was in the beginning: how they survived without enough meals, books, classrooms and lack of water. But she also recalled that even with all those challenges they were able to perform highly. She confirmed that St. Vincent is the best school in the region. She asked the students to be proud of the school and be smart and with determination.
After the speech from the guest speaker it was time for lunch. It was arranged in such way that the students could have some time with their parents. After lunch, the celebration continued with entertainment from the students. There was a modern dance, performed by Ester Odhiambo, Willis Oketch and Cyrus Onditi. Then a poem followed, from Brillian and Monica, entitled ‘St Vincent our Pride’. There was also a Kisii folk dance. After the entertainment the deputy thanked the visitors for joining this festive day together with students, teachers, and staff.
Cultural day with the students
The students continued their entertainment by having a cultural day in which they could showcase their talents and creativity. There were competitions of eating where they could compete eating sugarcane, and eating swinging apples without holding them. There was a dancing competition, a singing competition, cut-walking and comedy. The students and the teachers entertained themselves to the full. The teachers also had their own moment to compete amongst themselves where the deputy, Mr. Wandede won in Zilizopendwa dance. The event ended at 10:00 pm by a word of prayer by the deputy who dismissed the students to sleep.
St Vincent is my future
St Vincent I love thee
For you hold my future
I lay my trust in thee
For long long in the future
I will never forget thee
For you shaped my future
You are the home of saints.
In darkness will your light shine
To all those who trust thee
In you o St Vincent
My hope will never fade
For when I was ignorant
You gave me instructions
What you did to my brethren
For real you did it to me