On a gloriously sunny evening, members and VIP guests in the Portsmouth area celebrated the 50th anniversary of the construction of the Southampton meeting house in Chetwynd Road, Southampton.
The day began with a public open house, family history displays and workshops, followed by a showing of “Meet the Mormons” feature film. An afternoon and evening of summer fete activities was enjoyed by all, including a visit from the Mayor of Southampton, who individually greeted many in attendance. The Mayor, Councillor Linda Morris, then joined local members for a commemoration event within the chapel to reflect on the influence and involvement of the members within the Southampton community.
The anniversary event was preceded by months of community work across the area for all members young and old to take part in, including collecting contributions for local foodbanks and charities, making hats and blankets for a local premature baby unit, and collecting toys for a local toy library.
The Southampton building was completed in 1965 after the efforts of building missionaries and local members, several of those early local members attended the celebrations travelling long distances from other areas. Displays of historic documents, including the original programme relating to the construction and dedication were presented. The building was eventually dedicated in 1968 by Spencer W Kimball, a former president of the Church.
The evening concluded with a cake competition, a BBQ dinner to the music of a local brass band and a later showing of the feature film. After the event the Mayor commented on her twitter feed: “A warm welcome from Bishop Orekan and his church family.”