On Saturday 18 February, a group from Darwin travelled to Goulbourn Island for the commissioning of Richard Dhangalanga as Pastor for the community at Warruwi on Goulbourn Island. Ben, Maria and Roslyn from the Synod Office were thankful for the opportunity to visit with the people at Warruwi. Dr Jude Long, Principal, and Rev Dr Helen Richmond, Lecturer from Nungalinya College had the opportunity to meet with their students. Wendy and Helen, members from the Living Water congregation, sister congregation to the Warruwi community were thrilled to visit the community and bring greetings from the Moderator. Rev Wendell Flentje, visited Warruwi some thirty years ago and was able to relive memories from the past. Rev Steve Orme had travelled to Warruwi the day before to prepare for the service.
Our base at Warruwi was the old manse which overlooks the bay. We set ourselves up on the verandah where the sea breezes kept us cool during the heat of the day.
- View from the verandah of the old manse
We visited the arts and crafts gallery and Jonah Walamaka, the mainstay of the market garden, showed us around the garden, where a variety of fruit and vegetables are grown all year round.
The service began in the afternoon at the Warruwi church which will be 100 years old next year. Richard was danced into the service by his clan group from Elcho Island and presented to the congregation.
Billy Nawaloinba, Jonah Walamaka and Sandra Makalngu, Pastors at Warruwi, officiated at the service, and the Warruwi and Galiwin’ku choirs sang for the congregation. Wendell Flentje inducted Richard Dhangalanga in the presence of the congregation and friends.
As part of the service, Nancy Ngalmindjalmag was presented with her Certificate III in Theology by Dr Judy Long, a just reward for her dedicated work over many years.
We travelled back to Darwin late in the afternoon, with many wonderful memories of all that we had seen during the day: the scenery, the music, the wonderful welcome from the people and the wonderful celebration for Richard on his induction as Pastor.