Feniton head’s Melanesian adventure

Feniton Church of England Primary School headteacher Colin Butler strengthens the village’s global links.

A FENITON headteacher enjoyed an experience of a lifetime in Melanesia during a visit to strengthen the village’s global links.

Colin Butler, head of Feniton Church of England Primary School, spent three weeks in the Solomon Islands as part of a twinning project with the Norman Palmer School.

During the trip he spent time teaching pupils there as well as visiting other schools in the area.

“It was interesting experience,” says Mr Butler.

“I ran out of superlatives to describe it. I found it equally shocking and humbling.

“The poverty there is shocking compared to us.”

Most Read

The visit follows on from one made by two Feniton pupils, Lara and Erin Drew, who spent the summer in the Solomon’s, and was inspired by the work and life of Feniton-born John Coleridge Patteson - the first Bishop of Melanesia.

During his stay Mr Butler enjoyed many memorable moments, including a performance by the Melanesian Brothers, who re-enacted the life of Bishop Coleridge Patteson.

He also joined the Archbishop for dinner.

Mr Butler presented the Norman Palmer School with a number of books collected by the pupils in Feniton together with memory sticks and footballs and rugby balls.

“A memorable moment was going into the classroom with the books the school had collected, and reading and talking with the children,” adds Mr Butler.

“One of my proudest moments was when I opened the library.”

As a parting gift he was presented with a wooden carving of the Norman Palmer School badge and a collection of individual accounts from the pupils there, which will be used by their Feniton counterparts as part of their studies.

Mr Butler hopes to continue to move forward and strengthen the school’s links with the Norman Palmer School and Principal Bernard Qunaifia is set to join the school in a reciprocal visit next year.

He added: “Not only did the visit strengthen our link with the Solomon Islands but when Principle Bernard comes out to Feniton it will take it another step forward.”

The school is also hoping to do another book collection for the Norman Palmer School as well as an abseiling fund-raising challenge.

Anyone who can help with the shipment of books is urged to call Feniton Primary School on 01404 850303.