On the eve of the 25th anniversary year of the Fellowship of the Least Coin (FLC) prayer movement, a celebration took place to mark this significant occasion. A Silver Jubilee gathering was held in Manila, the Philippines, from 26 November–3 December 1980. The Philippines is where Shanti Solomon was inspired to begin 'a Fellowship that would join together the hearts and hands of the women of the world in reconciliation, prayer and giving'.
The theme of the jubilee was: Prayer, Partnership, Peace.
Australian Church Women (ACW) commemorated this event across our country, and Marie Price, the FLC Convener of ACW, reported on the Silver Jubilee in the 1981 National Working Documents. Marie wrote:
'There have been two distinct high points of interest during the term 1979/1981. Firstly, the ACWC Executive Committee decision of late 1979 to separate the Committees of ACWC and FLC., due to the world-wide expansion of the Fellowship of the Least Coin. Secondly, the achievement of twenty-five continuous years of growth of F.L.C. since the inaugural dedication of least coins by women in the Philippines in the year 1956.
'To mark this important milestone, almost 200 delegates from 35 countries met in Manila to thank God for past blessings and to pray and plan together for the years ahead. Twelve Australians were privileged to travel to the Philippines to share in the joyful occasion and to meet with personalities associated with F.L.C. since its inception, including Mrs. Shanti Solomon of India and Dr. Margaret Shannon-Myers of U.S.A.
'Carrying the especially prepared Banner depicting Australian flora and fauna and the Celebration Theme of Prayer – Partnership – Peace, members proudly entered the Ellinwood Church for the opening ceremony.
'During the later celebrations, Jubilee songs were presented from several countries. Australians were delighted to sing in chorus their submission entitled "SO SMALL A COIN". The words were written by South Australian Mrs. Margaret Knauerhase (daughter of the late Reverend Winifred Kiek) and the music was composed by Mrs. Joan McKercher of Tasmania. These two ladies are to be commended for their generous cultural contribution from our country.
'Also from Manila, acting on a recommendation of the F.L.C. Asian Committee a Jubilee Service was prepared to facilitate State Units in their desire to involve others in the continuation of thanksgiving and celebration. My sincere congratulations to the Units who were able to organise Services for this purpose. These were planned where possible to coincide with the scheduled visit of Mrs. Rathi Selveratnam [sic] who in accepting the Winifred Kiek Visiting Scholarship, will in this Jubilee Year promote the Fellowship of the Least Coin and A.C.W. A former chairperson of ACWC, Rathi is a woman of rare quality and talents and therefore has much to offer those fortunate enough to hear her inspiring addresses.
‘A special Jubilee issue of Circle of Prayer, Volume 8, prepared on the celebration theme, has sold readily and a second order has been requested. Papers presented in Manila by members respectively from Egypt, Uruguay and Africa, developing Prayer – Partnership – Peace, have been reprinted in "Women at Work" so that a greater number of members could share in the Theme. Jubilee mementoes of teaspoons and bookmarks have been prepared for sale, by two separate State Units. A substantial sum of money has been forwarded to Geneva from our Least Coin contributions. An application for a F.L.C. grant was requested by the St. John of God Brothers of ASHGROVE, Queensland.
‘To be actively associated with Fellowship of the Least Coin is indeed an honour, particularly so in this historic Silver Jubilee Year.'
*Would one of our members please supply a name for the woman on the left of our banner in the photo at the top of this post. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Working Documents of the 1981 National Committee Meeting of ACW.
Our Silver Jubilee: The Fellowship of the Least Coin, the Jubilee anniversary book produced by the Asian Church Women’s Conference (ACWC).
Archived ACW photographs and slides.