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COMMUNITY CELEBRATES HISTORIC 150th ANNIVERSARY OF THE COMING OF THE LIGHT

Erub community procession to service
TSRA Members at Erub

This week, Torres Strait communities have gathered on Erub Island (Darnley) to Celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Coming of the Light.

The event commemorates the arrival of the London Missionary Society on July 1, 1871. Landing at Kemus Cove, Erub, the arrival introduced the Bible and Christianity to the Torres Strait.

July 1 is marked as a local gazetted holiday in the Torres Strait region, however the date is celebrated by Torres Strait communities across the country.

TSRA Chairperson, Mr Napau Pedro Stephen AM, said July 1 is an important part of celebrating our unique history, tradition, and culture.

“While the Torres Strait is a diverse group of islands and communities who all have differing needs and aspirations, it is our faith that unites us all.” Chair Stephen said.

“The TSRA was honoured to have contributed towards the Erub community’s 150th Coming of the Light celebrations through supporting the community and the Torres Strait Island Regional Council (TSIRC) on the maintenance of the road to Kemus and the refurbishment of The All Saints Anglican Church on Erub, a significant landmark in the community.”

The Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Honourable Ken Wyatt AM, MP said the Coming of the Light is a significant event for Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“The Coming of the Light represents a coming together of clans and cultures, and a strengthening of family and community,” Minister Wyatt said.

“While the day acknowledges and celebrates the coming of Christianity, it also marks an era of greater cooperation in the region.

“On this 150th anniversary, we also celebrate the resilience of traditional Torres Strait Islander knowledge, practices and culture that has endured and thrives today.”

To honour 150 years, the Gab Titui Cultural Centre on Thursday Island has curated the 150ZK Truth Telling: Coming Of The Light Zenadth Kes 150 Years Exhibition (150ZK Exhibition). This exhibition will show until August 21, 2021. The 150ZK Exhibition was curated alongside Torres Strait Artists, Badu Arts, Erub Arts and Moa Arts to represent the impact and the perspectives of Christianity in the region. Visit shop.gabtitui.gov.au for more information.

Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people are advised this website may contain names, images and recordings of people who have passed.