The Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACoM) marked the beginning of another milestone in her provision of education services through the Dedication and Blessing of a Foundation Monument Stone and unveiling of JCPU sign board for the establishment of John Coleridge Patteson University (JCPU) at the Kosu land, Central Guadalcanal on Saturday 12th June.
“The Church is seriously taking bold steps in faith to implement her vision and make firm commitment towards establishing a tertiary education institution for the education and social needs of our nations, especially Solomon Islands and Vanuatu,” the Archbishop of ACoM the Most Rev. Leonard Dawea speaking on behalf of ACoM said in the presence of the representatives of the people of Gaobata tribe, Minister for Traditional Governance, Peace and Ecclesiastical Affairs, Hon. Samuel Manetoali, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development Dr. Franco Rodie, Honorable Premier of Guadalcanal Province Hon. Francis Sade and representatives from the Solomon Islands National University to name a few.
“The vision to establish a Church University has long been with the Church for almost two decades after it was first discussed in the 12th General Synod held in Honiara 2008 to explore the idea. At the 13th General synod in 2011 the idea was accepted and it was decided to make the commitment to translate the foundational philosophy of the Melanesian Mission that would draw on the holistic approach to socioeconomic, educational, religious and technical development. Not only that, but to maintain her historical legacy in providing quality education opportunities to islanders since the Melanesian Mission was began in the early 1849,” Archbishop Dawea continued to explain.
“This is also to complement the continuing learning academic excellence that our major tertiary education providers, Solomon Islands National University (SINU) and University of the South Pacific (USP) currently provides,” he added.
Archbishop Dawea calls on the National Government of Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, overseas traditional partners, Guadalcanal Provincial Government, Churches, business houses and local communities to come onboard with ACoM to establish this important cause for the future of our children.
As a symbol of respect and acknowledgment to the people of Gaobata tribe, Archbishop Leonard handed over a gift of local foods (chupu) on behalf of the ACoM.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development Dr. Franco Rodie and Honorable Premier of Guadalcanal Province Hon. Francis Sade also pledged their support to the establishment of the JCPU.
“This is a pride to the people of Guadalcanal and so we will always be ready to support in whatever we can to this very important project,” Premier Sade said in his short speech.
As a symbol to allow ACoM to fully control the land and begin her work, Chief John Seketala of Gaobata tribe took the honor on behalf of his people to cut the ribbon at the entrance of the road going into the JCPU area where the sign board and the foundation Monument stone are erected.
Currently, JCPU under Bishop Patteson Theological college Kohimarama has already started one year Diploma in Teaching program for in-service teachers, being conducted at Saint Nicholas Anglican College.