Over 400 guests joined in the celebrations of the 75th anniversary over 19th – 22nd July, 2000. The whole time was one of thanksgiving to God for his goodness over the past 75 years. Many past pupils and their families came from every continent, some not having met up since they left here years ago and represented every decade of the school’s history. Reunions were made, memories shared and hurts laid to rest.
The time started with the official opening of the Administration Building by the first pupil, now Mrs. Joy Molyneux.
The present pupils performed plays and musical items at the evening concert, held outside due to the large numbers in the audience. Mr. Matthew Raymond had set the words of the school motto – 2 Timothy 3: 14-15 – to music and this was sung by the pupils.
Thursday morning started with the Thanksgiving Service again held outside. Many friends of the school participated in the service in prayer and messages. Parents and local friends joined in this time of celebration. The theme was one of thanks for past blessings but also acknowledging the imperfections of the school. Mr. Harald Holmgren, as first keynote speaker, reviewed the history of the school and the blessings shared in the past. Mr. Barry Haigh then encouraged those present to look to the future and like the children of Israel to follow the cloud of God’s guidance. Afterwards several friends commented on how moving the service had been and what a help and encouragement it was.
Over 320 were catered for at lunchtime by the hardworking team in the kitchen. The menu was a traditional Sakeji Sunday lunch complete with ice cream and fudge. In the afternoon some guests went on trips to a cottage by the Zambezi River, to the Zambezi source or to view game in the nearby Nchila Wildlife Park, run by Mr. Pete Fisher.
After a Lunda supper, various entertainments were ably co-ordinated by Dr. Gunnar Holmgren. Previously unknown secrets from his time at Sakeji were revealed and some of the hitherto unknown activities unveiled. Lyndon Hess’s films of Sakeji have been put onto video so the first of those was screened bringing back many memories. To conclude the evening, Mr. David Foster spoke of remembering, reflecting and re-dedicating ourselves to the Lord.
On Friday over 80 visitors took the opportunity to have a guided tour of Kalene Hill with Miss Joan Hoyte followed by lunch at the Zambezi Rapids. In the evening a pizza supper was served at the river followed by evening entertainments back at school. John Enright put together an excellent programme of items by various pupils, including early memories from Mr. Darrell Rea, a quiz from Andy Fisher and Dan Ball and several other contributions. Mr. Evans Kamwana spoke on the school motto to close the evening.
Many guests had to leave soon after breakfast, but some were able to stay for a time of challenge about world missions from Dr. Ian Burness and a very moving time of corporate prayer afterwards. The rest of the day was relaxed with some guests remaining until the bus left at 7:30 the next morning.
The celebration will be remembered for a variety of events. Past pupils enjoyed many times of sharing and reminiscing and voiced appreciation of Sakeji’s influence in their lives. Visitors appreciated the improvements made to the school and the general appearance of the school environment. Sakeji’s continuing ministry was confirmed and committed to prayer. Comments were made that Sakeji must be a special place because so many past pupils had travelled from such distances to attend.
The Anniversary celebrations would not have been possible without the prayers of so many here and elsewhere who could not attend. Many friends gave of their time to help prepare and ensure that all went well. Others contributed in ways too numerous to mention.