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Melanesian Messenger Online distributed by the
Church of the Province of Melanesia
Archbishop Pogo laying down the pastoral staff and the Primates Cross on the altar marking the end of his active duty to the Church and a sign of handing over of leadership to the next Archbishop
Photo: COM Media
Photo No. : P081207-1
Click for enlarged photo

ACOM Farewells Archbishop Pogo
December 7, 2008

[Melanesian Messenger - Melanesia] As he placed the pastoral staff and the primates cross on the altar this morning, Sir Ellison Pogo formally announced his retirement as Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Melanesia for the last 14 years and Bishop for the last 27 years.

This announcement marks the end of his active duty as Episcopal head of the largest Church in Solomon Islands that extends to two sovereign states of the Republic of Vanuatu and the French Trust Territory of New Caledonia.

For thousands of people who filled the Provincial Cathedral at St. Barnabas in Honiara to overflowing for the first ever liturgical farewell, it was a moment spurred with fulfillment, joys, thanksgiving as well as sadness for such a great leader who has served the church faithfully for so many years.

Those years were times when the Church has undergone some of the most trying times in its 33 years history as an ecclesiastical province since 1975.

In his parting words Sir Ellison thanked the Anglican Church and its leaders for its support to his leadership in both good and bad times.

I wish to thank other church partners and secular organizations who have helped me to look beyond the Anglican Church and the country of Solomon Islands in my ministry in the last 14 years

Its not easy being a leader of so many people let alone overseeing three independent nations.

But Sir Ellison said he enjoyed the challenges that allow him to be more closer to God everyday.

Prime Minister of Solomon Islands Dr. Derek Sikua thanked the Archbishop for his leadership in enabling the Anglican Church to play a significant role in the development of the country in the areas of education, health and ecumenical affairs.

You have left a legacy of responsible and trustworthy leadership in the Church and will continue to be so within the community at large.

It is our hope that you will continue the good work elsewhere either in the church or indeed in the country, the Prime Minister said.

Other speakers including representatives of the Solomon Islands Christian Association and the Archbishops overseas Commissaries in England, Australia and New Zealand have also spoken highly of the Archbishops leadership not only in the province of Melanesia but the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Officials attending the liturgical worship include Government dignitaries; Prime Minister Dr. Derek Sikua, Speaker of the national Parliament, Sir Peter Kenilorea and Members of Parliament, Overseas Church partners, Solomon Islands Christian Association and ecumenical partners.

Thousands of people also joined in and listened to the two hour worship services beamed live across the nation by the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation.

The Archbishops official farewell was concluded with gift presentations, island feasting and entertainment this afternoon in the Cathedral grounds.

He officially retires on 9 December 2008 and looks forward to a long a happy retirement with with his wife Lady Rosely Pogo and his three children Claire, Vato and Majoree pogo