The National, Thursday 08th December 2011
By JAYNE SAFIHAO
TRANSGOGOL High School dux Gemo Francis is the proud recipient of five early Christmas presents.
“Gemo Francis” was repeated several times as the student who excelled in almost all of his subjects and even scored the highest in agriculture in the province – 49 out of 50.
Receiving the prestigious headmaster’s award by having a gold medal hung around his neck, this shy Amele boy was speechless as he was repeatedly called to the stage to collect his presents.
Even people in the crowd were full of admiration as some mothers
were overheard saying: “Sapos em pikinini bilong mi bai mi hamamas tru (If he were my son, I would be very proud)”.
Some local men were heard saying “lift him up, lift him up” as a gesture of pride for the Transgogol local level government area.
Francis’ elder brother attends University of Natural Resource and Environment, Vudal, and this year he said he had to forego his school fees so his brother could have a place in school.
But that did not deter the young man from achieving his dream of
one day becoming an aircraft engineer.
“Everything I do is from God and I only attribute my blessings to God,” Francis said.
“I did my primary schooling to Grade 8 at Behir and wanted so
much to continue at Brahman because of its strong Christian principles but because of transportation and money problems I stayed back.”
He said it was not by mistake
that he remained as he was now
part of the school’s history as the
first dux of the pioneering students passing out from the new establishment.
Francis is from Aguru village where both parents are subsistence farmers.
His father is a poultry farmer and his mother sells betelnut to help pay his school fees.
He said he did not believe he was naturally bright.
“No, I study hard.
“Being a boarding student is not easy as there are pressures on you
but if you want to succeed, put God first.”
The school was officially declared open by Finance and Treasury
Minister Don Polye with a ground-breaking ceremony for the completion of the second phase of the Bau to Mawan road which will go past the school.
The school was helped with
funding of K3 million by local MP Buka Malai and was the lucky
recipient of 3,000 library books
donated by Hope Worldwide.