Story and photos by Annette Scullion
Bishop Viard College’s long awaited event centre and gymnasium was officially opened and blessed by Cardinal John Dew on 2 May.
The Porirua Catholic college caters for around 350 students from a wealth of cultures and diversity.
A powhiri welcomed local Catholic schools, local priests, the Board of Trustees, staff, students, guests and visitors onto the site. Students provided music, singing and led the readings.
‘The new gymnasium has been some 20 years in the making so the college community is very excited to see it has now become a reality,’ said Principal Rose Sawaya.
‘This new building represents fresh beginnings for the school as Bishop Viard College undergoes a multi-staged refurbishment project. The gym and event centre is part two of a five-part building project. Two years ago Cardinal John blessed and opened the school’s new administration block and first-aid area. Other developments will see the library being rehoused,
a new staff room, further administration offices and a new entrance way to the college.’
Cardinal John Dew linked the senior students’ liturgies about the foundation that is Jesus Christ to the day’s blessing. He reminded students, ‘We are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building. This magnificent event centre and gymnasium is nothing without the lives of the people who use it. In the words of the reading, “do you know that you are God’s temple and that God dwells in you?”
‘You students are supported by a generous and committed community and the dedication of an experienced and able staff, led by Principal Rose Sawaya and Board under David Wootton,’ Cardinal John said.
‘The building represents many things Bishop Viard College stands for ‒ a place of faith, student learning and achievement, a strong and generous community with an enduring hope-filled spirit.’
Bishop Viard College was founded by Cardinal Peter McKeefry and established in 1968 by the Assumption Fathers and the Brigidine Sisters. In 1975 it became a single co-educational college. It is the only co-educational Catholic Secondary College in the wider Wellington area and it continues to serve the areas of Tawa, Porirua, Titahi Bay, Plimmerton and the Kapiti Coast. It provides a vibrant faith community, a caring pastoral environment, a rich cultural mix of talented students who are challenged and supported to achieve their personal best, a great foundation for their whole lives.