Welcome to Geelong, Rev Sani Vaeluaga
It is always a fine occasion to welcome a new minister to a Uniting Church parish, a time of celebration and hope. Clergy wear white albs and red to signify a joyful occasion. Yesterday afternoon I went to St Andrews, our neighbouring church, where Rev Sani Vaeluaga was inducted to be the new minister of St Andrews and St Albans. The congregations are well known to us as our East Geelong was linked to both until recently.
St Andrews church was full of people, including a Samoan choir from Keysborough in Melbourne and lots of well-wishers. It is a formal occasion but one of good feelings. Rev Robert Renton kindly gave me some of his photos as our camera was in Peceli's satchel and he'd gone up to Altona Meadows/Laverton to preach.
During the afternoon tea I met several friends who I hadn't seen for a long, long time including a Samoan family who used to be in Lake Boga up in the Mallee in the manse there. The Samoan choir sang both in the church and in the hall with a very energetic pianist. Way to go.
Now we have more Pacific Islanders in Geelong. Rev Sani is from Samoa then New Zealand, then Diamond Creek and Hurstbridge and Heidelberg-East Ivanhoe in Melbourne. We welcome Sani, his wife Temukisa, and children Asomaliu, Alaoleula, Siniva, Filiata and Sani, and a delightful grandmother who will live with them.