Spreading the festive spirit

Spreading the festive spirit

Petersham Uniting Church’s Tongan Congregation’s brass band has found visiting aged care homes to perform to be a blessing for all involved.

Kilikiti Havea Tuitupou is the secretary of the Petersham Tongan Congregation. He has served as the band and choir master for the past two years.

“I’ve join the Petersham Congregation in 2015 when I migrated with my family from Auckland, New Zealand,” he recalled.

“In Tonga, Christmas and New Year is a time we hear musical bands/brass bands playing all over our neighbourhoods, going from home to home, church to church, spreading the festive spirit. I guess that’s where the idea developed from, wanting to share the Christmas Spirit with our community, especially the elderly.”

“It is also an important part of our outreach into the community to share the story of Christ’s Birth through our music and songs. It is worthwhile for our brass band who are made up of youth members to share their talents with the community, have the opportunity to spend time with the elderly and learn the true meaning of Christmas, to spread love and joy to others around us.”

“When l became a band master, I applied for a grant from the local council to help teach our children how to play brass instruments. One of the reasons for this project to get our band out and help the local communities including aged care homes.”

The response from the staff and residents has been positive.

“The residents love the music/songs just as much as we love playing for them,” Kilikiti said.

“We enjoy seeing the joy in their faces hearing the music and also hearing them singing along, even dancing to the music.”

“We also get to share a bit of our culture playing some of our Polynesian music and songs, which has also been received well. We leave these homes feeling joy, because when we play for them, we feel as if we are playing for our own grandfathers and grandmothers.”

“We are thankful for all the opportunities to be able to share our music and talents. Sharing the story of Christmas with our community is part of our mission. We wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Wishing you all love, peace and joy throughout the festive season and Best wishes for the New Year.”

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