‘The wealth that should come from the splashes of this vaka’s interaction with the many oceans of minds ad experiences should be able to sustain, nourish, and advance the wisdom that is to be carried in the bodies of our people,’ said the Regional Secretary for the Council of World Mission Reverend Nikotemo Sopepa when dedicating the newly opened Vaka PhD Study Centre.
Previously, PhD students had to find their own space to study. Some hung out in the library, a lucky few had rooms. But never before did they have their own space to interact, debate theories, or discuss to build up each other’s knowledge and thereby the quality of their learning.
The Study centre, previously an underutilized space was refurbished to the tune of about FJD 10,000, equipped with cubicles with desks and chairs, air conditioning and relative silence.
Reverend Sopepa said the wonderful thing about a shared space the PhD students will be able to draw strength from each other.
‘You will think as a crew and fly from here as frigate birds, spreading its wing in the Oceania wind and be known as the Oceania frigate birds, different in color, composition and knowledge from frigate birds found around the world,’ he said.
Rev. Sopepa is also part time PhD student at PTC. There are 16 PhD students at PTC.
Rev. Marc Pohue from Maohi Nui appreciated the symbolism of the vaka that he identified with considering his thesis is focused on eco-theology especially indigenous knowledge.
‘With this vaka we are sailing on an ocean of knowledge about the ocean, land and sky., spiritual connections. What I mean by knowledge it is life itself,’ he said.
PTC Principal Rev. Dr. Upolu Luma Vaai said the creation of the center of an overall effort of continuous improvement in quality standards of learning of the College.
He congratulated Suren and the Maintenance team for a job well done.