Reflection on Chevalier Training Centre Graduation Day

30 years ago, February 1992, Chevalier Farm Training Center was officially opened and blessed by the late Archbishop Petero Mataca. The founder of this school was Fr Kevin Barr MSC. It was Fr Barr’s vision and mission to establish this school for young men – to teach them trade skills in order that they may have a better chance of acquiring employment in the job market and that they become an asset to their families, their communities and to society when they went back home.

Today, Chevalier Training Center continues to keep that vision and mission alive. Over the past 30 years the school has always risen to the challenge of keeping its doors open for the boys. Despite a shortage of funds, despite the Covid pandemic, this school has proven its resilience and commitment to ensuring that it remains open for our students. And we are truly grateful to the generosity of our benefactors and for the commitment of our staff and their confidence in keeping the school going.

Today we gather together joyfully to celebrate the long-awaited graduation ceremony of the Class of 2020. Today’s graduation was postponed from last year because of the Covid pandemic. We thank the parents, guardians and the students for your understanding and patience regarding the postponement of today’s graduation. The closure of the school last year, due to the pandemic and the uncertainty of when classes would resume, was worrying for all of us. But, thanks be to God, the students resumed classes when schools opened again on the 4th of October, 2021.

It is so good and encouraging to see so many parents, guardians, friends and family of our students present here this morning. Thank you so much for coming to witness today’s graduation and you are very welcome. The Class of 2020, who are graduating today, have worked very hard over the past 3 years and today we come to celebrate their achievements, to give them the recognition they deserve.

And so, to the boys, we thank you for coming to train here at Chevalier Training Center. Without you this school would not exist. You are the reason we have this training center and we thank you for your cooperation and hard work over your 2 or more years here at Wainadoi. We know things have not been easy along the way – but we hope that you have grown in discipline, in learning how to work hard, in respect for yourselves and for one another.

As you leave CTC for the last time know that you carry new skills with you. Skills that will make your family and friends proud of you. It is now your responsibility to make use of the skills you have learned here at CTC. Also, make good use of the tools that will be given to you. And never stop learning. Continue to develop your skills and your God-given talents.

During the time that you have been here at Wainadoi, you have learned our MSC motto "May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be everywhere loved" – so, make sure that Jesus is really at the center of everything you do and say, now and in the future.

Have a happy and blessed graduation and may the good Lord bless us all. Amen!

Br Gerald Warbrooke MSC