Honiara, Solomon Islands
The Melanesian Brotherhood celebrated the 75th anniversary of the community’s founding at Tabalia in West Guadalcanal last fall.
A homegrown Anglican religious order which now numbers more than 300, the Melanesian Brotherhood was founded in 1925 by Ini Kopuria, a Guadalcanal man.
Governor General Sir John Ini Lapli, Anglican Archbishop Sir Ellison Pogo, diocesan bishops and clergy were among dignitaries gathered at the brotherhood headquarters.
About 10,000 people witnessed the occasion.
The Melanesian Brother-hood is a religious order founded on simplicity.
Its members, the “Tasius” as they are normally referred to, live and display simple Christian lifeSstyles while sharing the gospel and love of Jesus Christ.
Governor General Sir John Lapli paid tribute to the founder, the Church of Melanesia, and those who had joined the community.
“Seventy-five years of existence and work in church mission is indeed a great achievement.
“It gives us a great sense of gratitude to watch an indigenous religious community growing strong and active in mission,” Sir John said.
He added that one thing he found most impressive is the fact that the Brotherhood is a community of young men and boys.
He said it is joyful to see young men who live a group life of discipline.
“They live a common life of self-reliance. While on mission, they almost entirely depend on the generosity and goodwill of the church and church members generally, and their own companions.” Sir John said.
He continued: “Today we are celebrating a success story, the story of 75 years of the life, work and mission of the Melanesian Brotherhood.”
“We say it is a success story because their mission has helped our people to believe in God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
As the Melanesian Brotherhood moves with its ministry into this new millennium, Br. Gereniu said: “The future of the Brotherhood stands in God’s hands. He will control the community and uphold it.” This article is adapted from one published in the inaugural edition of the Church of Melanesia Newsletter.