News Release

New Zealand Labour Missionaries Reunite

Former labour missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathered for a reunion in Temple View, Hamilton this past weekend.

The New Zealand Labour Missionary Reunion was attended by approximately 40 of the remaining missionaries and their wives. The oldest living missionary, Solomon (Sol) Te Whate, age 95, was in attendance. As was Brian Hollis, the youngest labour missionary, who began his mission at age 14.

Even after more than 50 years have passed, these former missionaries are still best of friends, are happy to share their experiences, and describe their work as "sacred" building the Hamilton New Zealand Temple and the Church College of New Zealand campus.

The Church College buildings and temple were constructed during the period of 1951 through 1958, with labor performed by young Mormon missionaries called for a period of approximately two years to donate their labor.

The labor missionaries were fed by local Church members, housed in small baches (New Zealand term for a modest dwelling) located on the construction site, and paid about $1 per week. At the peak of construction activities, about 400 of these young missionaries labored at the building site.


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