The Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, Mr Danny Philip, donated $SBD10,000 from his personal finances at the official handing over of the new buildings at Kopiu Adventist Junior Community School to the Solomon Islands Mission.
Mr Philip was guest of honour at the ceremony alongside the Minister for Education Dick Haámori, Minister of Forestry Bradley Tovosia, West Honiara MP Namson Tran, Guadalcanal Premier Anthony Veke and Pastor Wayne Boehm, president of the Solomon Islands Mission.
The handing over of the school to the Solomon Islands mission celebrated not only the accomplishing dreams of past generations, but launched the school into the future as it continues to train and equip young people in the service of God.
Speaking at the ceremony, Prime Minister Philip praised the vision and mission of Pastor Norman Ferris, a Seventh-day Adventist, for his untiring support in helping the local community build the school.
|Students line the stairway dubbed “Jacobs Ladder” to welcome Mr Danny Philip, Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands.|
Prime Minister Philip described Kopiu as a “Light House” in the community. He was inspired by the high academic standard of education that will prepare Solomon Islanders to build a “World of Peace and Harmony”.
“The handing over of the school to the Solomon Islands mission celebrated not only the accomplishing dreams of past generations, but launched the school into the future as it continues to train and equip young people in the service of God,” said Pastor Boehm.
Kopiu Secondary School is situated on 148.81 hectares of land at Marau Sound in East Guadalcanal. The word Kopiu is derived from the Tolo language of Guadalcanal which means “Cover Me”.
Since its establishment in 1932 by Pastor Norman Ferris, Kopiu became a historical landmark of the Seventh-day Adventist church in Guadalcanal and the Solomon Islands. The school has educated students to become teachers, pastors and professionals that have contributed to the development of the Adventist church, government and private sector.
As years went by Kopiu became a “back water” school. It was not until 2003 that a proposal was submitted as part of Post Ethnic Tension for Education Rehabilitation program to establish a secondary school in Kopiu with the purpose to “relive” the vision of its pioneers.
Pastor Ervin Ferris, a retired Minister of the Seventh-day Adventist church and the son of Pastor Norman Ferris, rekindled the vision to relive his fathers dream. With the support of volunteers from the South Queensland Conference, Australia, and local communities, Kopiu Adventist Junior Community School has become a reality.
The School now has an enrolment of 250 students with some of the best school facilities. The school not only enrols students from the Seventh-day Adventist community but also students from other Christian churches around the country.
“As a government, we believe formal education will change society as it evolves and that is why the government is investing heavily in our education sector,” Prime Minister Philip said.