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Reflecting on Saint Maur's Food Fair - An Annual Fundraiser and Community Builder

Reflecting on Saint Maur's Food Fair - An Annual Fundraiser and Community Builder

Food Fair came and went far too fast. Yet as I recall all the snapshots of what made the event so great, I am proud to be part of this community, its history and its legacy. Students, teachers and parents helped one another and displayed their culture proudly.

I saw teenagers show up as leaders and role models for younger children. I saw musicians, both highly professional and those starting out, give it their all on stage. I saw beauty in so many little moments that make Food Fair a great community event.

When I first arrived at 8am, set up was underway. Parents woke up early on their day off to set up and teenagers were setting up games. Many hands make light work they say, despite how small these hands may be. Three Grade 1 girls kept chasing after Ms. Varsha asking for another and yet another job. They were tasked with what 6-year-olds can do; throwing away empty boxes, putting up signs and distributing paper napkins.

Meanwhile, throughout the day, I saw students keenly learn how to fry Brazilian cheese breads, how to make Mango Lassis and how to describe Thai noodle dishes. I was often touched by the gentleness with which face-painting masters spoke to their customers, often very young children. I was impressed by the Grade 8s chanting and cheering every time one of the young people trying the Basketball Hoop landed a basket. Meanwhile, the Grade 12s gracefully managed the enthusiasm of those young enough to jump into the Bouncy Castle. Many Grade 12s wistfully told me their hearts were heavy knowing this was their last Saint Maur Food Fair.

However, for many, this Food Fair will not be their last. Not only does the alumni booth give former students a starting point for reminiscing and catching up with all school friends, this community event invites all to come back. Our Japanese neighbours and families from Futaba come to practice their English and feel welcomed by those of us trying out our fledgling Japanese. I also met a group of men whose wives had been former students and wanted to experience the camaraderie. Similarly, some of our former staff also come back to say hello, have some crêpes from the French Booth, or listen to Mamma Melodia (our Adult Enrichment Program Choir Group) sing.

As the day wrapped up and families started going home with the cups of popcorn and their treasures from the Thrift Shop, those who soldiered on in food booths caught up with each other, had a rest, and recounted how the day went. It's such an easy day to reconnect with acquaintances or cement new friendships. To be part of something that will leave many with life-long memories, to be proud of how each of us could contribute a piece of the puzzle that makes this community international, vibrant, and kind-hearted is a grand manifestation of the school's motto in action, Simple in Virtue, Steadfast in Duty.

If the nuns who arrived in Japan to set up an international community could see us now, they would be thankful of how well the seeds they planted have grown.

Food Fair 2024