The friendly and harmonious gathering met at the Gary Holland Community Centre, a central, well appointed modern facility. Local speakers were the region’s pastor and festival coordinator Grant Chick, deacon Peter Davidson and Jean-Jacques Matter from the Bunbury congregation.
Visiting speakers were Richard Chapman from Melbourne, Matthew Fenchel, an elder from Cincinnati, and Ken Thomson, an elder from San Antonio, Texas. The Fenchels spent the first four days of the Feast in Rockingham and then traveled the 4,300 kilometers or 2,240 miles to Queensland for the remainder of the Feast. The Thomsons spent three days in Rockingham before traveling back to Queensland. It was a lot of traveling for both couples, who were much appreciated for their support.
Mr. Fenchel opened the Feast with a sermon about hope. Other sermons and sermonettes covered topics such as: “We Are God’s Adopted Children,” “Living in Booths,” “We Are Here to Honor and Obey God,” “Keep Calm and Carry On,” “Having a ‘Hesed’ Relationship With God,” “A Covenant, Not a Contract,” “Discipleship and Rulership in Christ’s Dominion,” and “The Last Great Day.” A memorable quote attributed to Mark Twain was: “Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf man can hear.”
A talented local teenager, Kimberley Grey, provided piano accompaniment for hymns and special music throughout the Feast.
After the service on the first day was the traditional meet-and-greet catch up with friends old and new and the enjoyment of a wide variety of food and drink. Another activity also enjoyed by many was a bus trip 68 kilometers north of Rockingham to AQWA, the Aquarium of W.A., sited at Hillary’s Boat Harbour, to visit Australia’s largest single aquarium and walk-through underwater tunnel.
Another tradition, accompanied by chocolate, was a competitive night that was fun for old and young. This year it was won by two of the young ones. The Eighth Day service ended with the last hymn being the traditional “God Be With You.” The Eighth Day farewell lunch concluded in the hall after a group photo was taken.