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Matthew Lum leaves his legacy in stone to mark his grammar school’s 60th anniversary

By Angelina Hue ’16

Bishop William Justice came to bless the tile wall. Pictured with the Bishop are Matthew Lum and Rev. Diarmuid Casey, pastor of St. Dunstan Church.

Matthew Lum ’16 started his freshman year at SI much like his classmates: excited to make friends and join new clubs. An talented athlete, Lum joined the crew team as a coxswain and ran cross country. He’s also a member of the the Robotics Club and Disney Club.

Unlike his contemporaries, however, he didn’t forget where he came from and spent this past year creating a mosaic mural at his grammar school alma mater in Millbrae as his Eagle Scout project.

Having attending St. Dunstan’s School for seven years, Lum wanted to leave a legacy to commemorate what the school gave him and thousands of others in its long history. Lum served as a Scout for more than eight years and racked up his share of badges. Like all Eagle Scout candidates, he needed to perform a service project for his final step and had the idea of creating a mosaic wall mural for the school's 60th anniversary.

Lum originally proposed a 20-tile mural with pieces selected by way of a student contest, “but the principal, Dr. Bruce Colville, wanted to include all of the students. So the project evolved from a 20 tiles to a 276-tile wall piece,” added Lum.

Materials cost approximate $2,500, and 220 kindergarteners through eighth graders participated, each paying $12 per tile. Lum asked each student to paint a school-related scene on a 4-inch square tile, and then he and his fellow scouts used mortar to affix them to the wall of the school over a 14-hour period. After a week of drying, Lum and the scouts added grout to complete the scene.

The entire project took seven months, from planning in September to final wipe-down in April. "During the unveiling Mass, my teachers were tearing up,” said Lum, who also found the experience moving. Several teachers, including a few 30-year veterans, “came up to me, hugged me and told me how beautiful the tiles looked, some with tears in their eyes.” 

Posted by Mr. Paul J. Totah on Monday July, 15, 2013

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