GOVEO community in Isabel Province held double celebrations this New Year.
And that’s because they have officially opened their new chapel that would cater for their community population of more than 600 villagers.
More than 2,000 people from surrounding villages turned up to witness the consecration of the Saint Mary Magdalene Church on Saturday evening, New Year’s Eve.
Among the invited guests are Member of Parliament for Gao/Bugotu Constituency Samuel Manetoali, Member of Parliament for Maringe Kokota Dr Culwick Togamana, Premier of Isabel province James Habu, the Anglican Diocesan Bishop Ellison Quity with his wife, other prominent church leaders, chiefs and village leaders.
Also gracing the event are the Members of the Melanesian Brotherhood who were on their Christmas tour around Isabel Province.
The new church that costs $1.8 million took more than 10 years to be completed.
Chairman of Govea Vestry Committee, Belsa Malanga said the money was raised through fundraisings, tithes, offerings and donations from their Member of Parliament and provincial members.
Other communities in Isabel have also contributed one way or the other towards the completion of the new chapel.
Speaking on behalf of the Govea community, Mr Malanga said Govea community are very happy and pleased that the new church building is now completed.
“We tried our best to complete the new building for more than 10 years now so our community have a good reason to be happy this New Year,” Mr Malanga said.
He said their old church was too small and can accommodate less than 200 people.
Chairman of the Taskforce (organising) committee Chief Robinson Harvey thanked everyone for coming to witness the occasion.
“Without your presence, the opening and blessing of the Saint Mary Magdalene is nothing,” he said.
Also speaking at the ceremony is Mr Manetoali,who congratulated the Goveo community for the consecration of their new church.
He said he has learnt something from the Isabel communities and that is working together to achieve bigger things.
After the consecration of the Church on Saturday, entertainment and other activities continued on until the New Year’s Day at 1am.
Despite the late night celebration, the 6am mass on Sunday that was held inside the new church was filled up, leaving many others no space but to gather around the church peeping through windows to hear the sermon.
Speeches, feasting and entertainment continued throughout the day until late afternoon.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN