For the first time in recent history, every Pathfinder club from across the South New Zealand Conference (SNZC) was represented at a single event, with more than 180 Pathfinders joining together for a Pathfinder Rally camping weekend, which finished with an Anzac Day march.
Beginning on Friday evening April 23, the clubs set up camp at Pascoe Park (Christchurch) and were awoken on Sabbath morning for a parade at 8:30am that led to a church service at an amphitheatre on site, followed by Sabbath school at their tenting sites.
The theme for the weekend was “Find Your Path”, with guest speakers Lance Boulton (SNZ youth director) and Mervin Brown (youth leader at the Fijian church) presenting talks with theatrical flare that engaged the Pathfinders.
“Mervin and Lance were awesome,” said Adventurer and Pathfinder director for SNZ, Edwina Davis. “They interacted and got amongst the kids. In one of Mervin’s talks, he had three points to make, and had the kids hold up points with Bible verses on them. It made it memorable.”
On Saturday night, the Pathfinders finished their program early with hot chocolate and biscuits in preparation to wake up at 4 am to attend the Christchurch ANZAC dawn service. Four buses arrived at 4.45am and Pathfinders and district directors boarded.
The Pathfinders were joined by 21 adventurers from the Fijian church as well, bringing the total number of people marching to more than 200.
“It was an absolute highlight for our Pathfinders to have this opportunity to march in the parade,” explained Ms Davis. “As there were so many of us we stood out. Some of our directors had members of the public approach them asking questions about who we were. What a great witness!”
Elizabeth Bell and Ana Mahina were flag bearers for the event, and Pathfinders Jayden Cameron and Emma Homan presented a wreath on behalf of the SNZ Pathfinders, a highlight that was featured on TVNZ News that evening.
“I would like to commend our Pathfinders for attending during the school holidays. And I’d like to thank our SNZ district directors—Andrew Peddie, Chris Kegan, George Homan, Olivia Tooley, Michael and Rosalie Proud—for their support, as without them events like this wouldn’t happen. Their passion and love for the Pathfinder ministry is outstanding,” Ms Davis concluded.