WHEN the Marist Convent School was first established by the Marist sisters in 1953, Lami was still considered a rural area and the current school playground was still a swamp.
Back then the first students — from families in Delainavesi and Togalevu village, had to be taught in the wooden Catholic Church at Nukuwatu as they waited for the first L-shaped building to be constructed.
And yesterday 60 years on from those first days, former students joined the Marist sisters to remember the sacrifices made and to celebrate the schools diamond anniversary.
Chairperson of the Marist Convent School Lami ex-students association Asela Naisara said the former students wanted to give back to the school and the Marist sisters by fundraising for further development.
"Ex-students are here also having a reunion to coincide with the 60-year celebration to thank the Marist sisters for their contribution towards education and sharing of the faith many years ago."
She said the former students wanted to extend the head office of the current school and would conduct a soli to kickstart this.
"The ex-students are going to work together to see that it's done and we have tremendous support particularly from ex-students from Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific."
She said they would look to raise $30,000-$40,000 initially but had yet to finalise a definite cost, something they would look to do last night.
With former students reminiscing on their experiences throughout the celebrations Ms Naisara said they all remembered the strong emphasis the Marist sisters placed on the English language.
"Most of the sentiments shared during memory lane on Friday night was that the sisters made sure that we got it right, whether it took them one hour or two hours, we had to get those basics right.
"And for many of us we have carried that through our life our spelling our English, and articulation of the English language is something that we carry with us."