"I supporse I should start university studies." I suggested. Great was my disappointment when he sent me away to University, aftertelling me he was hoping to send me to New Guinea. It never occurred to methat my superiors were looking for missionary volunteers. I had become ashumble as a door-mat and pliable as a plate of porridge. I still could not arguefor myself. Having gained my Bachelor of Arts from University of Tasmania in 1978 as apart time student and full time teacher, I was called in again in 1979. This timeI declared that I was free to do whatever they wished. I was chosen to go toTonga with Br. Paul Nangle to take over a missionary high school at Vavau. Ihope that is how you spell that tiny island in the Kingdom of Tonga. I was pleased, at last things were happening. New government in the order,men with vision. The Third World was calling us and they seemed to be
listening and answering. Tonga here I come! It wasn’t Vietnam, but at leastmission to the poor was returning to the Brothers. Before setting off overseas, it was necessary to do some cross-culturalpreparation. Paul and I went to Sydney for most of 1979 to study"Inculturation" under Fr. Cyril Halley. Inculturation studies make it easier to cross cultural barriers: to be able tomove in and out of other cultures without suffering cultural shock. I loved thecourse and found the experience of living with the famous Columban Fathersa real treat. Ours was a mixed community of priests, brothers and nuns. Allplanned to be educators and/or missionaries in the Third World. I had neverlived with so many men and women of kindred spirit in all my life. Over mostof that diverse community there reigned humility and peace. From my observations, Paul found the experience very challenging and wasinclined to consider "running a school" in any land as a culturally neutralprofession. His world was the school. Community had no importance in hisscheme of values. He was a past "successful" headmaster of the great St.Patrick’s College, Ballarat.I quickly concluded that for Paul there was nothing he felt needed learning.His attitudes and contributions continually embarrassed me, raising doubts inmy mind as to how the hell we were to work together? Paul and life sharingexperiences were incompatible. This headmaster stood alone. Oh dear andhow sad! I was nothing to Paul, one of those lesser beings called, "a junior member ofmy staff." My personal worth was still recovering from the nature of mychildhood. I was hurt all the time by his coldness. At the time, I did not havethe clarity of vision to openly hold him accountable for his discrimination. His, Iconcluded, was an arrogant approach to new cultures, experiencedmissionaries and our future mission born out of his "successes" in thedeveloped world.