He made the description while addressing teachers, students, and nearby villagers at his farewell function at St Stephen Pamua Community College on Sunday, June 21, 2020.
Bishop Karibongi said there has been no ACOM School in the Solomon Islands that has provided education over a century of the strife of ups and downs since 1910, except Pamua school.
And he said; “I want to salute you that despite our school’s dilapidating state as one can see, it has survived the century and we are proud to stand along in the procession and pilgrimage to keep alive the dreams, vision, love, and concerns of those who allowed their portion of land for the school, and those who started it.
“I attribute our education journey to them, otherwise we cannot enjoy education today and our human resources development cannot be in tune with the changing world and could have fallen along the way-side.
“We must, therefore, thank them for their love, over the spans of years and life and gifts of character and along with them are some of our pioneer missionaries, teachers and students, some of whom we may know,” he said.
Bishop Karibongi added that he had always dreamt about building a memorial site to honour those great leaders.
Meanwhile, Bishop Karibongi said it was important to know the short history of the Diocese of Hanuato’o and St Stephen Pamua Community College.
He said the Anglican Church of Melanesia in Makira Ulawa Province has been a Diocese since June 29, 1991 which means by June 29; “we will have been 29 years old and still in our youth stage.
“But in the period, we have had three bishops, with Bishop James Philip Mason being our pioneer bishop, 1991-2004/5 and now the Paramount Chief of Isabel, the island province whose population is pre-dominantly Anglican.
“Then our Second Diocesan Bishop was Bishop Jonnie Kuper who served between 2004/5-2006 and I have held the post since as the third bishop”.
Bishop Karibongi said he relayed the brief history purposely to acknowledge their vast contributions to the school as they were chairpersons of the school board, adding they had run the race and kept the faith to keep Pamua school alive as a mission/church school.
He said one day the school will be the same as other schools or even greater. And despite its physical appearance; “I am proud of the results it has always gained so far”.
Bishop Karibongi said students who ended up at Pamua on transfers or as push-outs through the education system because of space shortages, have turned out to be amongst those attending schools with better accommodation, classrooms, dining- halls, and equipment.
And he added, they have become skilled operators or leaders in “our nation, so we are not that bad at all, so I congratulate the staff and students and our nearby communities.
“I know you can make a difference, but provided you keep the Anglican Church of Melanesia’s spirituality because where you are is sacred ground,” he said.
By George Atkin
In Pamua, Makira