The gift that keeps on givingJohn Blois
A special collection of songs by Suli Niulala
Suliasi Niulala used music to bring people together. He did this in many settings, sometimes it was organised ahead of time, and other times it was impromptu, but it was always a joyful act of love. Trinity is delighted to be able to share a collection of songs performed by Suli; they offer a way of remembering not only what music and faith meant to him, but also what he offered to everyone when he sang and performed: a glimpse into grace.
Enjoy the collection in order below, and continue down to read further notes about the songs.
Recorded in the Junior School during remote learning, 2020
During lockdown in 2020 when the school was operating in remote mode, Suli continued to bring the Junior School joy by recording a short ‘Good Morning’ message.
Recorded in the Trinity War Memorial Chapel, 2021
In his final year with us Suli was particularly prolific at sharing music with our school community. So much so, he was asked to provide his gift of music at events he couldn’t attend. In the case of ‘The Blessing’ and ‘My Redeemer Lives’, Suli arranged with the School’s AV department to record him in the Trinity War Memorial Chapel so the recording could be played at both Junior School Chapel and the Year 12 Farewell morning tea.
When Suli was asked if the School could share his beautiful renditions of these Christian songs more widely, his answer was quick and affirming, as always, of his faith:
“There is no problem at all. Anytime you need me to do it again in the future, I am more than happy to. Only by Grace that I have been given the gift of music to bless others. Detur Gloria Soli Deo.”
Recorded for Easter Mission, 2022
Singing three of his original songs at Trinity’s Easter Mission in 2022, Suli encouraged our School community in their own relationship with Jesus. Dressed in his traditional Tongan clothing, Suli professed his desire for Christ to ‘Be Glorified’ and connected this with the school motto, ‘Detur Gloria Soli Deo’. Singing ‘By Grace’ to his Lord, Suli shared his struggles in missing family during lockdown, but countered that with recognising the many blessings given to him by God, ending with the line “By Your grace I have been saved”. Extending God’s invitation to “Come as you are” in his introduction to ‘The Road to Calvary’, Suli acknowledges his own sin as he sings about Christ’s death and resurrection, singing to the Lord “You did it all for me”.
Recorded for his father, 2017
The final song in this collection, ‘Hard to say goodbye’ was recorded in 2017 by the School’s AV department at Suli’s request. He had written the song as a tribute to his late father, but the song now serves as a comforting farewell for all of us.
Our hope is that this collection is a joyful encouragement to you and a reminder of the loving grace Suli sung about.
If it has brought about feelings of grief, please reach out for support. Housemasters and classroom teachers are available for the pastoral care of your sons.
In addition to pastoral care and the support that comes through friends and loved ones, there are other supports external to the School. These include:
- Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement – bereavement counselling and support services
Tel. (03) 9265 2100 or 1800 642 066
- Griefline provide a national toll-free helpline 8 am to 8 pm Monday to Friday (AEST) Tel. 1300 845 745. There is also a free Book a Call service allowing help-seekers the option to schedule a Grief Support Call from a specially trained Griefline telephone support person.