With conch shells sounding, Pacific Islanders, clad in traditional garb, stood guard as guests entered between them. It was the first taste of the festivities as the Townsville community celebrated the return of the YWAM Medical Ship to Townsville from Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Around 340 guests from the Townsville community enjoyed an evening on the Marine Precinct Wharf with food, dancing, speeches, and a lot of fun. Mayor Cr. Jenny Hill and Federal Member for Herbert, Ewen Jones, spoke highly of the work of YWAM MSA, while Managing Director, Ken Mulligan, and Youth Street crew, Kim Hahn, shared their highlights and experiences from the past year.
The YWAM Medical Ships Australia 2012 DVD was premiered, leaving very few dry eyes. The video clearly emphasised needs, but mostly the hope YWAM MSA and its volunteers have been able to bring in the form of health care, training, and community development.
With colourful flair and pounding drum beats, Pacific Island performances completed the evening. Properway Productions, Island Breeze, and the local TAFE exchange students (from PNG) performed cultural items. The dances clearly highlighted YWAM MSA’s heart for the Islands and the beauty of the culture. The crowd joined in the dancing, wrapping up an incredible night of joy and celebration.