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Pioneering Ventures

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One of the Brothers who had originally taught in Apia, and who returned to Sydney when the Brothers withdrew in 1877, was Br Landry. In 1890 he was re-appointed back to Samoa to replace Br Salvianus. He was to take charge of a school for Samoan Youth, up till then directed by a Samoan teacher and built near to the Brothers’ English school for the part-Samoan (Afakasi) community’s children. No school fees were charged but the boys had to do a day’s work in the plantation once a week - one week for the Fathers and the other week for the Brothers.

The school was a boarding one whereby the boys attended Mass each morning, then after morning classes returned to their families to work until evening. In spite of Br Landry’s great zeal and devotedness the attendance at the school remained poor. He was to leave Samoa in 1896 due to ill health, and once again a Samoan took charge of the school.

ln 1892 Br Macarius, a gifted musician had arrived in Apia. In order to draw more children to the school and to assure the Brothers a better income, two brass bands were established, one for the school children and another for the young men of Apia. They proved to be very popular both in Apia and further afield.

However, when they began travelling around Upolu and Savaii giving concerts, a halt was called to these tours by the major superiors. Eventually the band instruments were to be sold to an orphanage the Brothers were running at Stoke, New Zealand. After just six years in Samoa, Br Macarius was transferred to Fiji where again his bands became very popular. He was to labour there for the next thirty five years before his death in Suva in 1933.