News Release

Darwin Honours Their Past and Present with Service


Over 60 members of the Darwin and Palmerston Branches of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints braved the early morning high heat and humidity to participate in the Pacific Area-wide Day of Service in Darwin, NT.

Under the direction of Jared Archibald, District (diocese) President, participants mulched and weeded the garden beds at the Bicentennial Park in the Darwin CBD in preparation for the Remembrance Day and Bombing of Darwin commemorations.

Darwin was the site of the 19 February 1942 bombing of mainland Australia where 235 people lost their lives and hundreds wounded. The cenotaph and park grounds help visitors reflect on their sacrifice and all those who have fought and died in armed conflict to preserve freedom.

Gary Haslett, Alderman for the City of Darwin exclaimed, “We’re so grateful that you all showed up this morning!”

“The timing for this project is just perfect, “said Mike Kennion, team leader for the CBD precinct. “We’ve had the area around the cenotaph fenced off from Cyclone Marcus so your work today will make a huge difference in our upcoming celebrations.”

Adrian Williams of the Conservation Volunteers organisation observed, “This is going to help the council so much. What would have taken a couple of days to do was completed in a couple of hours. It’s a good group to come on a Saturday morning and be involved.”

The service at the park was an opportunity for individuals young and not so young to be involved with their community and for others, a chance to teach.

When asked why she came to help, Jill Kuhn (75 years) answered, “I came to support the project. I’m not able to do much but I’ll do what I can.”

Aletia and Adam Summerfield commented, “We’re here with our 4 children – Elliott, Tamra, Jane and Sam. For us it’s about the kids. We want for them to have the opportunity to learn early about ministering in our community – to do something for the community.”

Malukawa Waianga who worked with her children Dominic and Uniss feels a similar pull. “It’s important to me that I teach my children to serve. It makes me happy to be here.”

Young single adults also expressed the joy they felt in serving. “When you think of all the blessings we’re given, you just want to do something for someone else,” says Carey Nautu.

Winlay Auditor reflected, “I think this is about love. This experience reminds me of the words to the song, ‘If the Saviour stood beside me, would I do the things I do?’ This gives me a chance to follow His example.”

Emerald Xie stopped working only briefly to express, “I came today to support the activity and help the city. I feel the peace of Jesus Christ while I’m here. I feel hope.”

Missionary Eddie Fata said simply, “I’m here to serve and to love. And I love to serve.” Justin Liao adds, “We can make a small impact by working here today and help make the city look more beautiful.”

May Haslett summarized what many participants felt. “In church we give service, but it is also perfect to serve in the community. This experience gives us a chance to serve our fellowman. Jesus Christ taught us to be of service regardless of who you are and where you live. Our congregation is composed of many different cultures and we are all coming together to achieve something that really matters.”

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