40th Anniversary Celebrations
On the weekend of 4-6th October, we held the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the Unification Movement in Australia 1973-2013. Overall it was a very successful celebration with brothers & sisters attending from NSW, QLD, VIC, SA and TAS. Dr Kim & Mrs Kim just arrived back from Palau and arriving the same day were the 16 CIG missionaries from Japan and Mr Sam Nagasaka, 2020 project manager (appointed by True Mother). Over 120 people attended both the Saturday and Sunday programs. Amazingly our celebration coincided with the celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the Australian Navy Fleet. Ships from all over the world came to Sydney to celebrate with the Australian Navy and Prince Harry was there as the Queen’s representative.
It was the Rugby League Grand Final weekend with many music concerts and events happening all over Sydney. Over 1.5 million people came into the city to celebrate. Our Saturday program began at 10am the same time as the Naval Celebration began on Sydney harbour. Our program finished at 10pm the same time as the biggest fireworks in Sydney since the 2000 Olympics. Was this a coincidence? The whole world was celebrating with us. Also, Mr Sam Nagasaka told us that he was born in Sydney, Australia 40 years ago and thinks of himself as an Aussie.
On the Saturday program, we heard messages of congratulations from early members now living overseas, video messages and written messages. There were slide presentations and a video of Willadoo training centre from the mid-80s. During the day we heard a number of testimonies from early members as well. Carl Redmond, the first missionary from England attended and gave a short reflection followed by a piece on the piano (as only Carl can). During his Address, Dr Kim explained the meaning of True Father’s calligraphy for Australia and New Zealand, emphasising the time for self-power which is written on the New Zealand calligraphy.
During the evening Celebratory Dinner, the Hon David Clarke in his speech listed the numerous achievements of the Unification Movement worldwide and in Australia. A total of 11 Ambassadors for Peace joined in the evening program. Mrs Yong, wife of Dr Yong, former Regional Chair of Oceania, attended the program as well. Dr Kim also shared the vision of the oceanic era and the dawn of a new civilisation with women taking the leading role in realising peace. During the evening program, numerous couples and individuals were recognised for their contribution over the past 40 years. Some of our youth sang and performed in the evening and the Melbourne members led by Rick McInerheney sang an original song written for the occasion. The evening ended with a powerful four cheers of Eog Mansei led by Mr Yoshiyuki Arai. It was a great finale. After the Banquet dinner we had a Bush Dance led by two professional callers. Members from all ages joined in the fun dance.
Sunday’s program was held at the Drummoyne Community Centre, a beautiful location that adjoined a park overlooking the water. The children played outside while we heard from Dr Kim and Sam Nagasaka about the 2020 Vision. Where Saturday was celebrating the past, Sunday looked to the future. Dr Kim shared about the significance of 2020 Vision for individuals and families. Everyone was impressed by Sam and his presentation which gave a wealth of information and ideas for us to use as we look to have more influence in the community and the nation. Finally, all members made a pledge to fulfil the 2020 Vision.
Sam encouraged the Australian members to recognise the strengths, abilities and connections that we already have. Sam left the next day for the Solomon Islands on his way to join True Mother on a tour of Japan. There were also a number of smaller meetings during the day including WFWP and UPF. We had a nice meal, and spent time together to share and kick a ball around outside. The day concluded with some final words from Dr Kim regarding initiatives for the nation. We now find ourselves at the cross-roads of history. It is the end of an era and the beginning of a new time for Australia and Oceania.
Let’s renew our heart Australia-wide and connect to this new time.