Island News

Welcome home ‘Brother Walter’

Written By : DEVLIN CHUNG (formerly Ah Sam). It has been 45 years since Marist Brothers High School first won the secondary school’s rugby “S.S. Dean Trophy” and who should
09 Oct 2010 12:00

image Written By : DEVLIN CHUNG (formerly Ah Sam). It has been 45 years since Marist Brothers High School first won the secondary school’s rugby “S.S. Dean Trophy” and who should be so honoured to reunite with former Br. Walter now known as Lloyd Pratt than the members of that team.
Congregating here in Suva will gather many Marist old boys from every part of the universe for a major forum and get together which our esteemed Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and former Marist old boys officially launched.
Lloyd is now 78 and getting on in years but still keeps himself very active back in Hamilton, New Zealand.
He is looking forward to this nostalgic trip back to the roots of his teaching profession as a former Brother in his late twenties.
Just hearing reports from his son, Joe Pratt, that his father often talks so highly and affectionately about his time spent in Fiji at the high school.
This simply explains Lloyd’s great love for his dedication as a teacher during those early years back in the sixties.
He returns to our midst this month no lesser loved, respected, admired and most of all greatly appreciated and acknowledged by all his former pupils who he taught, coached and mentored over the years.
I’d like to dedicate this article for the wonderful moulding of our characters and success into adulthood and wish to share some of the very intricate qualities of this great person.
I had the good fortune to be taught by Lloyd in my very first year at high school in a couple of subjects namely English and Literature.
He was a fine teacher with great patience and dedication and through his efforts, I’ve been able to develop as a person in expressing the qualities of spoken and written English so fluently.
I do owe him this gratitude but I have still deeper appreciation in how he related to us to grow up as decent and respectful adults.
He was indeed a father figure to many of us and he won our trust and admiration during those important years of our high school education.
Let me say that these insights about Lloyd’s dedication as a teacher is solely my feelings and relationship with him but I can safely vouch for many other old boys who do have similar sentiments about this great person.
As a rugby coach, Lloyd taught us the basic skills of running, passing and tackling in our first year as the high school midget team where the team was made up of predominantly Chinese, Part Europeans, Indo- Fijians and only one i-Taukei.
He taught us the fine art of tackling without fear provided we execute the technique correctly and it sure created the confidence in all of us during that first year in rugby.
We subsequently won the Lewis Jones Trophy for the most consistent fairest and best performing team in the midget grade.
It was through subsequent years that Lloyd developed all the skills, tactics and confidence in us to achieving the ultimate victory in 1965 in winning the Deans Trophy.
I have always credited my success as a rugby player to Lloyd Pratt and have never shirked my responsibilities in that great sport.
My rugby involvement took me to the United Kingdom where I was nicknamed “Kamikaze” for my fearless tackling of players almost twice my weight.
I sincerely hope and trust that Lloyd will enjoy the camaraderie with all the old boys who are eagerly looking forward to this great occasion – that of MOBilise 2010.
MOBilise is a forum that discusses ways to move the school forward. Discussions range from the need to upgrade present facilities, create new ones and strategically build capacity within the Marist family to ensure students are better prepared to meeting modern day challenges and issues.
Because MOBilise will be held in Fiji beginning on October 22, old boys are already building up momentum for a week of fun and goodwill.
On October 15-16 the Fiji Bitter Marist Volleyball carnival will eventuate.
In only its second year, the carnival has already earned its place as the biggest club volleyball tournament in Fiji.
While attending the forum will cost $20, all MOBs are required to pay a $10 registration fee. Registrations are being held at Lambert Hall every Friday from 6pm.

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