Monday, 3 February 2014

Burnie chapel's 50th anniversary concludes with a Sunday of reflection

Written by our new assistant stake historian for Burnie Branch, Paige Triffitt.

As many of you already know, the Burnie chapel celebrated its 50th anniversary this weekend (the 1st and 2nd of February 2014). I unfortunately was not able to attend the open house and fireside on the Saturday, but was fortunate enough to be there for the special Sacrament meeting on the Sunday.

The meeting opened with a few testimonies that really brought the Spirit to this special occasion.Two of the original members of Burnie Branch, Malcolm Isherwood and on the Neuenhausen girls, gave talks on the experiences and memories associated with the building. I learned a lot from these talks as I’m sure many others did; they shed light on things that I’d never really thought about before.

They told of how Elder Bruce R. McConkie came to Burnie looking for the land that the long-awaited chapel would be built on, and how he walked the streets trying to find the perfect lot. Never did they think that it would be built where it is now, and to be honest I never could understand why it was built there as well. I always thought that it was a silly place to put a chapel as it is extremely hard to find if you don’t know where you're going. I remember when my family and I first moved into the Burnie Branch and how we always got lost trying to get to the chapel every Sunday! But listening to the talks and finding out that someone who had been called of God chose that lot helped me realise that it is the perfect place to put a chapel.

No other church in Burnie is placed on a hill like ours, and like the scripture found in Matthew 5:14, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” Our chapel cannot be hid, it is on that hill for everyone to see, it is the light of Burnie. A place for people to come and gather together and learn about our Heavenly Father and Savior.

We too must stand tall so that we can be the light to those around us, and to show them the Savior's love. A lot of time and effort was put into building this chapel, the members around the Burnie area had to raise money to be able to afford the build, something that I’d never thought about before. I’m so grateful for those members who took the time to be able to do this, because without them the Burnie Chapel would not be here today.

Brother Malcolm talked about how as a young boy he climbed the wall that sticks out at the front of the chapel. This brought back fond memories for me, as I’m sure it did for many others, as I remember doing the same thing when I was in primary. (I’m pretty sure every primary kid who has been to the Burnie Chapel has climbed that wall before.) There are so many memories associated with this building, and it was so nice to be able to hear some of those memories and to celebrate the beautiful building that we have.

Even though I was unable to be at the open house, I was blessed to have the opportunity to see the wonderful displays that were still set up. These displays shed a little light on what the people of our Church do and believe in. And although there were few non-members at the open house to see these displays, it was a good reminder to the members of why we are here and what we are aiming to accomplish.

The celebration of the Burnie chapel’s 50th anniversary ended with a branch photo after sacrament meeting, and a lunch after all our Sunday meetings; which included a cake made by Melanie Corona to celebrate this special day. It was so nice to be able to sit around talking to each other enjoying the sun and everyone's company; and of course, eating the food!

On behalf of the members in Burnie, I would like to thank all those who helped with the organisation of the anniversary and for everyone who came to celebrate it with us. It was a wonderful weekend and wouldn’t have been the same without everyone's help. Thank you to all those who spoke throughout the weekend, your words made the day even more special.