Fund rises out of school library ashes

Church fire took school library

MICHELE ONG
Last updated 05:00 09/01/2014
School library burnt
CHARLOTTE CURD/Fairfax NZ
BURNT OUT: St Pius X students Siaosi Uhila left, and Isaac Lamb, pictured with a burnt Bible, have lost their school library after a fire destroyed St Philomena’s Catholic Church.

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The fire that razed St Philomena's Catholic Church on Monday also took with it a much treasured school library.

St Pius X students Siaosi Uhila and Isaac Lamb, both 6, were left to grapple with the loss of their library, which operated at the back of the 50-year-old church.

However, St Pius has since been inundated with calls from people keen to offer money to get the library going again. So, school board of trustee member Louise Walters-Uhila set up the St Pius School Library Relief Fund.

Mrs Walters-Uhila said the loss was "very unfortunate" as it meant pupils would not have access to a library when the new school year starts on February 3.

Siaosi felt "very sad" to see his library, along with its collection of 3000 books, destroyed.

He enjoyed The Guinness Books of Records, which the library had a complete set of, as he liked reading about the "biggest cake or the tallest man".

Siaosi hoped people would be able to donate copies of The Guinness Books of Records to the library.

For Isaac, it means no longer being able to borrow his favourite books, The Worst Sleepover and Litterbug Doug, and also bringing home chapter books to read.

Both boys said they would now have to go to Puke Ariki to feed their reading habits.

Principal Trish Walsh was at the school yesterday to view the damage at the church.

She is a former St Pius student and was baptised at St Philomena's.

She said the church had played a big part in her life.

People wanting to make a donation can have their cheque or online payment made to the St Pius X School Library Relief Fund, TSB Bank, 15-3955-0560450-00.

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