PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare and his family joined the Keamami community, North Guadalcanal in the dedication ceremony of a new church building in memory of their pioneer missionary father.
Called the Sogavare Memorial Seventh Day Adventist Church Building, the new church building took eight years to build and financed mostly by the Sogavare family through their charity initiatives.
Pastor Sogavare Loko, the late father of the Prime Minister was a pioneer Seventh Day Adventist missionary to Guadalcanal and has served his missionaries in remote highlands and Weathercoast communities in Guadalcanal in the 1920’s.
Keamami Village is home to descendants of some of the early SDA converts of Weathercoast who have settled at the village in the early 1970’s.
The Keamami SDA Community however, later come to maintain a very close relationship with the Prime Minister’s family over the years, and have worked together to build the new church building from the foundations of the early church buildings, resulting in the completion of a modern church building equipped with lightings and fans powered by solar energy.
But not after an incidental encounter in 2004 when the Sogavare family decided to venture out into rural Guadalcanal to celebrate Sabbath with the locals.
Their inquiries to the closest SDA community after having driven almost an hour out of town took them to Keamami village, on the edge of the sprawling oil palm estates close to the Gold Ridge mining site.
That first encounter would be the start of a new relationship by the Sogavare family with the Keamami Community and since then, the Prime Minister and his family has frequently attend Sabbath services at the small village where the Prime Minister is also the Church Elder and Madam Emmy Sogavare is also the President of the Keamami Dorcas Federation.
Today’s dedication ceremony was attended by many Cabinet Ministers and MP’s, and SDA communities from the Guadalcanal Plains and Honiara.
The Prime Minister and his children, Shannon and Brandt, also graced the event with Gospel singing performance from their family band during entertainment time, much to the applause from the local communities, many of whom have no knowledge of Mr Sogavare’s accomplishment at the guitars.
The day ended with cultural feasting and presentation of food and gifts.
Source: OPMC Press