A recreational facility being developed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints just a few minutes’ walk from the Hamilton New Zealand Temple will be a place where nature and faith will grow side by side, according to Church leader Elder David Thomson.
Elder Thomson told a group of approximately 100 guests at a ground-breaking ceremony on Monday (4 November) that when the recreational facility is ready for use by Latter-day Saint youth, wards, stakes and other groups, the beautiful setting would lend itself to experiences where faith in God could be strengthened.
The Latter-day Saints’ Hamilton New Zealand Temple and rolling green hills provided a picturesque backdrop to the ground-breaking ceremony, attended by Latter-day Saint leaders and other guests from the community.
The 16 hectare property will be developed with two large pavilions, two amphitheaters, a sports field and campfire gathering areas, according to project manager, Adam O’Gram. Cooking facilities, showers and toilets will also be available. The campground will include 12 cabins and tent areas which will accommodate up to 400 people.
Elder Paul Coward, another Latter-day Saint leader at the ground-breaking ceremony, noted that the occasion was marked by “a feeling of gratitude and peace.”
One person recognized with gratitude during the ceremony was Roger Hamon, a local Latter-day Saint who has planted trees and cared for the property for many years.
“There has always been a lovely spirit here,” Mr Hamon said. “I wanted to make it beautiful so that people would want to come and enjoy the feeling here. It has expanded beyond my dreams.”
Elder Thomson added: “Just as Brother Hamon planted trees that grow here, youth and faith in the gospel will grow here too.”
Some of the guests participating in the ground-breaking were Elder David J. Thomson, Elder Paul R. Coward, Mr Roger Hamon, President Thomas Sutcliffe, President John A. Kendall, and President Dale P. Anderson along with their wives and family members.
Representatives of the Nga Uri a Maahanga iwi will visit the property in coming weeks to offer a prayer and blessing on the land and the project.