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2007 graduands parade to the graduation hut
Photo No. : P071117-1
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Graduands wait their turn during the ceremony
Photo No. : P071117-2
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Mrs Alice Akao, Lecturer in Greek and Hebrew Language, congratulates the women who graduated with Women's Studies certificates. Behind Mrs Akao is Fr Atkin Zaku, Dean of Studies and Lecturer in History.
Photo No. : P071117-3
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Graduation of BPTC Diploma Students
November 17, 2007

[Melanesian Messenger - Melanesia] Twenty-one students from the Anglican and United Church in Solomon Islands graduated with the Diploma of Theology at Bishop Patteson Theological College of the Church of Melanesia yesterday (Friday 16 November).

The 37th graduation ceremony was witnessed by hundreds of members of the College, guests from the government and private sector as well as the Church and its institutions and visitors to the College.

Among them was Mr Dickson Ha'amori, Director of the country's highest national educational institution, the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education, who was present as the guest of honour.

Speaking at the ceremony, he reminded the students that they were not Anglican or United Church workers but were Christian workers.

"If Christian workers, then you are God's laborers, and it is to Him that you will ultimately give account."

Our human superiors, he said, were just supervisors ordained by God to make sure we fulfilled our sacred duties with effectiveness and efficiency.

"Instead, you are fellow laborers on a common field working towards a common objective, which is to make life bearable while waiting and preparing for the promised better life to come," he said.

The Principal of the College, Fr Philemon Akao, shared the same sentiments and called on the graduands to go out and be a beacon of hope to whoever they minister to.

He called on them to be like Bishop Patteson, who came to our shores with a vision not to make Melanesians Englishmen but to train them to become evangelists to their own people.

Two members of the Melanesian Brotherhood were among those who graduated with diplomas.

Women's Studies, a new course introduced by the Women's Centre at the college as a support programme for spouses of students doing diploma studies, also saw ten women granted their certificates.

Individual awards were also presented to students for academic excellence for both the Diploma and Women's Studies.

This year, the graduates are all male students from both the Anglican and United Church of Solomon Islands. The two Churches have enjoyed a longstanding ecumenical relationship both in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.