Rev Dr Gordon Moyes The Superintendent Writes
A weekly column by Rev Dr Gordon Moyes, Superintendent of Wesley Mission.
July 22nd, 2001
 

Words cannot describe the pride we feel in the 17 people we welcome back home this afternoon as well as to the evening service. They gave of their time, paid their fares and used their skills to construct a large Library and Community Centre on the little Island of Rotuma, situated in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 500kms north of Fiji.

To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the commencement of the Rotuman Congregation at Wesley here in Sydney, I wanted to give a gift to the Island as a token of our love for the Rotuman people at Wesley Mission. I undertook to raise the money and from our members, donors, radio and television audience raised $75,000. I then approached the Rotuman people through Mrs. Rejeili Flexman (who is an Elder of the Rotuman congregation and a member of our Mission Board) to ascertain what gift we could give them. Their response was that their greatest need was for a library, so that the new generation of young people growing up, and who eventually go to Fiji for their secondary schooling, could benefit. But a library is also essential for the adults who live on the Island.

Over 50 tonnes of equipment, cement, quarry tiles, roofing iron, trusses and beams had to be brought by ship and carried by hand to the site. A concrete floor was laid for the 17m. X 10m. building. The steel roofing is cyclone proof, secured by 2000, 3-inch screws. The ceiling is lined, has 17 fluro lights and 3 fans. The walls were lined with bookshelves. We had shipped over 5000 books through my Rotary Club of Sydney. All the timber shelves were made, stained and the whole building was painted. We were able to help get a generator to the Island and two computers. A member of our 10:30am Congregation together with a member of the Missionís IT Department (who now lives in Fiji), trained Islanders to use a computer. Helen Clements, a trained librarian, trained local librarians. It would be great if we had a van on the Island to set up as a mobile library to visit all the villages, but that would cost another $25,000. However with God nothing is impossible and tonight I will make an announcement about that!

The team worked extremely well together. Many suffered from tropical fever and illness, and Rev Syd Taito had a plague of boils! Our special thanks to Rev Jeff Pope - Project Manager, whom I asked to get this idea of mine up and running. Mrs Rejeili Flexman returned to help train the librarians and catalogue the books. Two political coups in Fiji, a broken down ship and a dodgy aircraft later, the library is now in use. The Fijian Prime Minister is scheduled to pay a visit to view this magnificent Centre. Thanks to all concerned but above all to God who enabled this special project to be successfully completed.