Marist Brothers High School, Fiji

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Marist Brothers High School
Carew Street, off Bau Street Flagstaff, Suva
Type Secondary School
Motto "In Hoc Signo Vinces"
Denomination Catholicism
Established 1949
Founder Petits Frères de Marie (Order of Marist Brothers, Fiji)
Principal John Atalifo (Current Principal)
Gender Single-sex education (Secondary)
Enrolment 500+

Navy Blue, White and Red             

Uniform: Standard shirt and Pocket sulu

Slogan Red Fire

Marist Brothers High School is a Roman Catholic all-boys high school situated in Suva, the capital of Fiji. It is a school in the Marist tradition, founded in 1949 by the order of Marist Brothers, which has had a presence in Fiji since 1844.[1] The school motto is In Hoc Signo Vinces.


Marist Brothers High School was founded and has been run by members of the Marist Brothers order since it opened to students in 1949. Founded by Saint Marcellin Champagnat, a Marist priest in France in 1816, the order went by the names of the Petits Frères de Marie (Little Brothers of Mary) and Fratres Maristae a Scolis (FMS or the Marist Brothers of the Schools, the post-nominal letters of the Marist Brothers). Marcellin's desire to have brothers to teach the rural children grew after his visit to the bedside of a sixteen-year-old, Jean Baptiste Montagne whom St. Marcellin discovered knew nothing of his faith.[2]

Marist Brothers schools began in Australia in 1872 and in New Zealand in 1876. On 27 August 1888, three Marist brothers, Harvey, Vincent and Alphonsus, arrived in Suva to begin a school for the children of Catholic Europeans. This was in response to Bishop Vidal’s request to Brother Theophane, the Brother Superior General in France. On 7 September 1888, they began their school in a house, just above the Lilac Theatre in Waimanu Road. In 1889 they moved to Suva Street. At first only European boys were admitted but by 1897 Brothers Columba and Claudius had begun a school for Indian boys and other races, known as the Indian School or the Cosmopolitan School, on the corner of Suva Street and Toorak Road. By 1936 this had developed into St Columba’s School.[2]

In 1912, Brothers Augustine, Alphonsus and Loyola began secondary classes in St Felix College, also on the Suva Street property. In 1936, after a considerable struggle with the civil authorities, who opposed secondary education for locally born children, the Brothers were allowed to reopen their secondary classes to all races. Thus the Marist Brothers High School had its beginnings in Suva Street. The High School was built at Bau Street during 1948, ready to begin the year there in 1949.[2][3]

Extra-curricular activities[edit]

Marist Sports

The school encourages its students to strike a balance in both sports and academics, and athletics is where for the past four decades Marist Brothers High School has dominated in Fiji. Athletics is a unifying force for the Marist community who come together every year to assist athletes for the annual Coca Cola Games and later on in international meets. For the last eighteen Coca Cola Games since the medal system was introduced,[when?] Marist Brothers High School has won on 13 occasions.

Every year the school puts out sides for all age grades to compete in the Fiji Secondary School Rugby competition. Even though success has not mirrored that of the school's dominance in athletics, Marist is placed 4th behind QVS, RKS, and LMS on winning the Deans Trophy which is the oldest rugby competition in Fiji. The Marist 1st XV have won the Deans Trophy on four occasions and drawn twice. The school have over the years produced players who have gone on to represent Fiji in both 7s and 15s. The likes of former Australian Wallabies flanker Ilivasi Tabua, current and former Flying Fijians Marika Vunibaka, Aisake Nadolo, Samu Domoni, Aliposo Waqaliti, Daniel Baleinadogo, Isaac Mow, Netani Talei, Gabriel Lovobalavu, Sunia Koto, Dominiko Waqaniburuto are just a few of many who have gone on to represent Fiji at international level.

Marist Brothers High School after 5 years have now retained the 2012 Coca Cola Games which was a great disappointment to the Suva Grammar School and still remain the champions for the boys categories in the Suva Zone Two meet. The Marist Old Boys were very happy and were very supportive for the athletes of Marist Brothers High School and in return they gave out souvenir jerseys, sporting equipment in appreciation of a token of a small thank you to the Red Fire boys from the Kaunikuila Group

The boys from Kaunikuila as they are formerly known as have won the title for 9 consecutive year in a row from 1989-1997

Notable alumni[edit]




  • Pranesh Prasad, Author of "The Ultimate Laugh" - novel launched by the world famous UBUD Writers Festival in 2011.

Military and police[edit]



  • Ilivasi Tabua, former Australian Wallaby and former Flying Fijian coach,
  • Marika Vunibaka, former Fiji and Canterbury Crusaders Rugby winger,
  • Netani Talei, current Flying Fijians backrower,
  • Gabiriele Lovobalavu, Flying Fijians center,
  • Sunia Koto, Flying Fijians hooker,
  • Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Flying Fijians utility forward,
  • Leslie Copeland, Fiji javelin record holder,
  • Lote Tuqiri (Junior), plays for the Japanese Rugby Sevens Team,
  • Banuve Tabakaucoro, Fiji's top track athlete.
  • Isake Katonibau, Fiji 7's rep
  • Bill Kikau, Fiji Bati Front row and plays for the queensland cup for the cowboys in Australia
  • Aseli Tikorotuma, Former chiefs winger and Fiji rep
  • Benito Masilevu, Former 7's rep and now plays for flying Fijians 15's team
  • Timoci Dabea, Fiji Bati rep and plays for the west tigers at the NSW Cup


  1. ^ Fiji Education Commission Report 1909,p.53.cited in Robert Nicole, Disturbing History: resistance in early colonial Fiji, University of Hawaii Press, 2011, p. 181.
  2. ^ a b c Pat Gallagher, The Marist Brothers in New Zealand Fiji & Samoa, New Zealand Marist Brother's Trust Board, Tuakau, 1976, pp. 29-30, 77-81, 122-127.
  3. ^ "Marist brothers high school celebrates 75 years", Cath News New Zealand, 19 October 2012. (Retrieved 12 February 2013)
  4. ^ Carroll du Chateau, "It is all about the pictures", NZ Herald, 22 November 2008 (Retrieved 22 January 2014)