Yirara College Baptism and Communion Day 2002 was celebrated on Sunday 6 November. Sixteen students were baptised in the Yirara College chapel, and 28 celebrated their first communion.
The students come from across the Northern Territory: from the desert, from the Barkly Tableland, from the Gulf of Carpentaria, from Gurindji country on the edge of the Kimberley near the border with Western Australia, and even from the northern Arnhem Land coast! Families of the students travelled a long way to be there, some from over a thousand kilometres away. Communities included Imanpa, Papunya, Titjikala, Yuelamau, Ntaria, Alice Springs, Ti Tree, Tennant Creek, Borroloola, Robinson River, Doomadgee, Kalkaringi and Galiwinku on Elcho Island.
Ingkarta Simon Dixon from Ikintji, together with Karina Penhall and Ingkarta Basil Schild, assisted with the celebration of baptism and communion. Karina presented the college with a banner celebrating the sacraments, completed while she was studying at Nungalinya College in Darwin.
The Yirara staff band played beautifully, with many students joining the band on percussion.
Some of the songs were sung in Luritja and Pitjantjatjara, with help from the Mission Block choir. Ali Hayes from Titjikala read the lessons for the day. Nunga Williams from the Ntaria community presented baptism candles, and Chris Altus (Christian Studies teacher at Yirara) helped with communion.
After the celebrations in the chapel, the families of students joined together for dinner on the lawns and enjoyed a gospel concert from Ingkarta Simon Dixon and his band, with Yirara Deputy Principal Greg Miller joining in on bass.
Many thanks to everyone who worked hard to make this day happen.
Pastor Basil Schild is the chaplain at Yirara College.