The first Adventist preschool in North New Zealand celebrated their 25 anniversary on Sabbath, September 28.
Children, staff and parents of the Footsteps Adventist Preschool in Napier, New Zealand, joined Napier Adventist Church members for the special commemorative church service, led by Pastor Anton van Wyk.
Pastor van Wyk challenged the congregation that Adventist education is about changing lives and preparing children and their families for eternity. He acknowledged the work of those who had vision at the beginning and dared to make the dream a reality in the Hawke’s Bay district.
John Knight, chair of the preschool board of trustees, acknowledged the work of past and present staff. Special mention was made of Kaye Judge and Pat Timmins who worked very hard to establish the preschool.
Tolo Pereira, current early childhood education director for the North New Zealand Conference (NNZC), presented a koru* crystal to Angela Toru (centre director) and Leba Raitaci (centre administrator) on behalf of NNZC president Pastor Ben Timothy and the NNZC office.
When the floor was opened for anyone to speak about their experiences at Footsteps, current student Mark confidently articulated his thoughts about his teachers, saying they were nice people and worked very hard.
“The NNZC wishes the preschool a very happy 25th birthday and that God’s continued blessings will be upon the teaching team, administration team, the children and families, Board of Trustees and the Napier Adventist Church congregation,” said Mrs Pereira. “Thank you for serving our God by serving the children and their families in your local community.”
*Koru is the Maori word for coil or loop and is a spiral shape based on the appearance of an unfurling silver fern frond. It represents new life, growth, strength and peace.