The $17 million Jubilee building dedicated today
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – THURSDAY 18 MAY 2017: The Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (CCCS) today christened their $17 million tala Jubilee church at the headquarters Malua.
The new Jubilee church stands on the site where the original church was built to commemorate the first Jubilee of the church brought by the English missionary John Williams in 1830.
The church’s annual General Assembly last year endorsed $12 million for the construction of a new church.
$5 million was added to the original cost due to the alterations in the design. Construction commenced after the ground breaking ceremony in November 2015.
Information from the church say the construction of a new jubilee church was raised by several church districts in 1995 but it was not until 2010, when members of the Manukau district in New Zealand raised it again and later approved by the Elders Committee.
Today’s dedication ceremony started with various church district presenting gifts in a traditional Ta’alolo and the Mafutaga Aoao a Tina – the Church Womens Council presented fine mats, siapo and a monetary gift of $2 million tala.
After the Taalolo, the christening ceremony followed, with Masiofo Filifili Tamasese cutting the ribbon to open the attractive building that fronts to a small man made lake between the church land and the main road where various species of fish and turtles swim that had become a popular public attraction.
The ceremony was attended by the Head of State, Members of the Council of Deputies, Cabinet ministers and leaders of other denominations.
Media ban from inside
The colourful ceremony was later spoilt as the media was banned from inside the building and in a very public manner.
As the guests were seated for the continuation of the ceremony inside, the Church General Secretary, Reverend Vavatau publicly announced twice that all media personnel inside the church must leave.
He said the only media allowed inside was the EFKS TV owned by the church. All other media then left.