News Release

Cairns 'Lights the World'


Cairns shone brightly on Saturday, 1st December, as the local branches (congregations) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hosted their first-ever Christmas music concert at Fogarty Park on the Cairns Esplanade. The concert served as the launch pad to their month-long 'Light the World' service initiative for December 2018 and created a platform for locals to give back to the Cairns community for the festive Christmas season.

The concert hosted a plethora of local musical talent, including some well-known names such as Voices of AustraNesia, Nite Vision Youth Choir and Cairns Young Voices; as well as solo artists, duets, members from the Cairns cast of Wicked (the musical) and other invited choirs of local Cairns' churches.

Special guest performer, Patrice Tipoki, who is a member of the Church, was the highlight of the evening with her renditions of Joy to The World and Son of God as well as co-performing He Sent His Son and Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful. The concert's stunning finale, The Holy City sung by Patrice and a district choir of the Church, left the crowd mesmerised. Patrice comes from a rich history of music and culture, and has performed throughout Australia and internationally in hit musicals such as Beauty and the Beast (as Belle), Wicked (Elphaba) and Les Miserables (Fantine).

Another 'gift' of the evening was a spoken message toward the end of the program given by Elder Robert Dudfield, Area Seventy for the Church. His message of lighting the world, the community, our homes and our faith through service to those around us resonated in the hearts of those present.

It was the vision and hard work of Elder Kelly Maxfield, a senior missionary for the Church, with the support of President Mark McSwain of the Brisbane Australia Mission as well as many other individuals, that brought this event to fruition. After the event was over, Elder Maxfield said, "I knew this event would have far-reaching effects for good beyond what we could imagine, when for one evening the Pacific area [of the Church] was focused on remote Cairns, Australia, as many God-fearing people came together to 'Light the World' in commemoration of our Saviour’s birth and life."

Rubina Kimiia, event co-ordinator and musical director shared. "The profile of the Church was raised in a very public and positive light using the vehicle of music and we were able to build some very important relationships with local community leaders. There can be no doubt in the minds of those who attended that we worship Christ the Lord."

Nicole Ziegelbauer, Director of Public Affairs for the Church in Cairns and one of the MC's for the concert said, "It was an incredible sight, to stand up on the stage and look out into the crowd and see so many smiling faces. During the performances, everyone's eyes were glued to the stage. I was so proud to be a part of such a wonderful event."

Cairns District (diocese) President James Gardner, who attended the event with his family, expressed, "It was a wonderful evening that brought the community together."

Despite the days leading up to the concert manifesting some of the region's hottest days ever recorded in Cairns, this did not stop the estimated crowd of some 2,000 people from attending and enjoying a beautifully uplifting evening.

Photos courtesy of Vili Photography

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