(Eagle News) — Outgoing Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, Her Excellency Amanda Gorely, visited the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) Central Office in Quezon City to make her farewell courtesy call on INC Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, on Monday, December 10.
Gorely said she was “delighted to pay a farewell courtesy call on Brother Eduardo Manalo.”
It was the Australian ambassador’s second time to visit the INC Executive Minister. The first time was in September 2016, during her first year as ambassador in the country.
Ambassador Gorely was accompanied by Australian Second Secretary, Ben Esguerra, who said that it was his first time to visit the INC Central Office.
Gorely personally expressed to the INC leader her appreciation for the friendly relations between the Church of Christ and Australia, as well as her admiration for the Philippine Arena and the Philippine Stadium at Ciudad de Victoria in Bulacan, said the INC’s protocol officer, minister Joel San Pedro.
“During her stay in the Philippines she was able to attend events at the Philippine Arena and the Stadium. She said she really liked the facilities and how well everything there was run,” San Pedro said.
He said that the Australian ambassador also noted the positive influence of the INC not just in the Philippines but in her home country as well.
“She admired the positive influence of the Iglesia NI Cristo in its numerous congregations all throughout Australia,” he said.
Australian Embassy’s Second Secretary Esguerra also noted the “significant presence” of the Church in Australia.
After meeting with the INC Executive Minister, Ambassador Gorely and Second Secretary Esguerra were greeted by INC Central Office volunteer workers who waved small versions of the Australian flag, and the INC’s green, white and red flag.
The Church has been conducting various INCGiving projects and socio-civic projects, such as blood-donation drives, all throughout the world including Australia, the most recent of which was held in Adelaide.
In August 2016, Brother Eduardo led a special worship service commemorating the 40th anniversary of the INC in Australia at the world-famous Opera House in Sydney.
This year, the INC celebrated the 50th year of its foreign missions and the 104th year since it was first registered in the Philippines on July 27, 1914.
Last month, Ambassador Gorely also made her farewell visit to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who conferred to her the Order of Sikatuna for her role in facilitating high-level visits and meetings and her dedicated efforts to further strengthening bilateral ties between the Philippines and Australia.
The Philippines and Australia marked its 70 years of friendship in 2016.
Formal relations between the two countries were established on May 22, 1946, when Australia opened a Consulate General in Manila. (with INC PIO release and photos)