Posted by Shirley Abriella Kaupa
on 18 June 2020
The Alumni's Story: "At De La Salle Bomana High school, I was taught Respect, Putting Others Before Self, Humility and Trust in GOD" (Lieutenant. Colonel. Boniface Aruma)
There are many successful alumni from Lasallian School in Papua New Guinea. Their success is credited to the hard work of the De La Salle Brothers and the Catholic Education in Papua New Guinea.
Many different students successfully graduate from the Lasallians Schools, these students are all unique, come from a different religious background or political interest; they have their own views and opinions; however, they will forever cherish the values taught to them in a Lasallian school.
High school is a time where students are trying to discover their potential and to strive for individual goals. It is a very challenging time in terms of acquiring knowledge to change mindsets and habits. It is a very fragile stage in a young person's life, where they transition from a child in Primary School to a teenager in High School. It is a time where students will make decisions for themselves and a time where they leave their parents for boarding school. During these years, the De La Salle Brothers and Lasallian Educators play a crucial role in directing and nurturing individual mindset. We thank all our Lasallian teachers, Brothers, ancillary staff in and around the world and most particularly in Papua New Guinea for the timely and constant support to the mission.
I would like to share with you an interview featuring one of our most successful Lasallian Alumni who graduated from De La Salle College Bomana in 1993 Lieutenant Colonel Boniface Aruma of the Papua New Guinea Defense Force.
Lieutenant Colonel Aruma was born in Ialibu in the Southern Highlands Province. He was a former Commanding Officer in the 1st Pacific Island Regiment based in Taurama Barracks in Port Moresby, one of the biggest military barracks in PNG. Currently Lt. Col Aruma and his family now live in Canberra, where he is undergoing military training.
Boniface's younger brother Philemon was a former school captain of De La Salle Bomana and his younger sister Jacklyn attended Jubilee Secondary School Hohola. Boniface was so impressed by the Lasallian education he received that his eldest son also attended De La Salle Bomana and his two daughters attended Jubilee Secondary School Hohola.
What made your dad enroll you and your Brother at De La Salle College Bomana?
It was actually my mother who chose to send my brother and me to De La Salle College, Bomana. We lived in Lae in 1991, my father was in Bougainville on Military operations, and my mum did all the groundwork to transfer me from Lae to De La Salle.
I come from a solid Catholic background; my mum was a Religious Education teacher; she worked very closely with Fr Bill Ross, who was the chaplain at Murray Barracks. Following mum's request to transfer me to De La Salle from Lae, Fr Bill wrote a letter on mums' behalf to Br Ignatius Kennedy, Headmaster at the time which led to my transfer.
There were many values taught to you at De La Salle Bomana. What are the Lasallian values which made you be the person you are within your family, community, work and overall, how have these values impacted you positively?
I started year nine at De La Salle College Bomana in 1992. Mum chose De La Salle because she wanted my brother (Philemon) and I to grow up with our Catholic faith and principles. She believed in the Lasallian values of the school and wanted us to embrace these values. The school values and principles were also the same as the principles and values that we grew up with in our home.
At De La Salle, I was taught respect, putting others before self, humility and trust in God.
These values have had a significant impact on my life. I believe these values have underpinned the positive contributions that I have made in my job. I trust God entirely in all my endeavors. I have managed to achieve and contribute as an individual because of my faith in God.
Being humble and putting others before self is compelling. 'The only way up is to go down.' It is even in the Bible, and I believe very strongly in these values. These values have been the cornerstone of how I interact and relate with citizens, peers, and stakeholders, including bilateral partners. The relations that I have established with others have been instrumental in aiding me to progress as a person and as part of a team, and this comes down to the ability to garner respect from others - through humility and putting others before self