AUC celebrates 70 years of Pathfinders with a trip down memory lane

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Pastor Jeff Parker and Rosemary Andrykanus holding up the flag from the 1999 Aus/NZ Pathfinder Camporee.

Pathfinders—a global youth ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church—celebrated its 70th anniversary this year, with Church leaders around the world putting together commemorative livestream programs on Sabbath, September 19, including the Australian Union Conference (AUC).

AUC youth director Pastor Jeff Parker and Victorian Conference assistant youth director Rosemary Andrykanus hosted the 90 minute livestream, presenting a selection of more than a thousand photos submitted by Pathfinders, Pathfinder directors and enthusiasts from across Australia, as well as commemorative posters, flags, banners, badges, awards and stamps throughout the years.

More than 400 people tuned into the livestream to see old pictures of their Pathfinder clubs and to learn about the history of Pathfinders in Australia, including a list of dates when clubs were established—the oldest being the Wahroonga Pathfinder club in 1952—and to view old footage and photos of camporees over the years—the first of which was held in Victoria in 1959.

Youth directors from across the country sent in video comments—Pastor Joel Slade from the South Australian Conference, Pastor Daniel Matteo from the Tasmanian Conference, Pastor Willie Mauga from the Western Australian Conference, Pastor Philip Hyland from the Victorian Conference, Pastor Travis Siutu from the Northern Australian Conference, Pastor Christos Spero from the South Queensland Conference, Pastors Dana Howard and Blair Lemke from the North New South Wales Conference, Pastor Rick Hergenhan from the South New South Wales Conference, Pastor Phil Yates from the Greater Sydney Conference, and Pastor Nick Kross from the South Pacific Division—who thanked volunteers and commemorated the importance of Pathfinders.

“For the last 70 years, dedicated leaders and mums and dads have been gathering under the banner of Pathfinders. Starting out in California and spreading out around the world . . . Pathfinder leaders have been opening up the Bible and sharing those amazing stories that we know and love about Jesus . . . camping and hiking, swimming and biking and learning to do life together as God’s big family. As we celebrate this 70-year milestone, let’s keep that fire burning,” said Pastor Kross.

To see old photos and footage of past Pathfinder events for yourself, you can watch the livestream on YouTube.