For the first time in Church history, a Church president has dedicated four temples during one overseas tour.
On an extended trip which included temple dedications, gatherings with Church members and meetings with community leaders, President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the Fukuoka Japan Temple on Sunday, June 11, the Adelaide Australia Temple on Thursday, June 15, the Melbourne Australia Temple on Friday, June 16, and the Suva Fiji Temple on Sunday, June 18. (Please see coverage of the Fukuoka Japan Temple dedication in the June 17 Church News.)
Accompanying President Hinckley during his tour were his wife, Marjorie, their daughter, Jane Dudley, and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve and his wife, Sister Patricia Holland.
While in Australia, President Hinckley was joined by the Australia/New Zealand Area President, Elder Bruce C. Hafen of the Seventy and his counselors, Elder Kenneth Johnson of the Seventy and Elder Victor D. Cave, an Area Authority Seventy. Sisters Marie Hafen, Pamela Johnson and Antonina Cave accompanied their husbands.
In the Islands, Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Seventy and president of the Pacific Islands Area, joined the official party along with his wife, Sister Mary Cook.
During the tour President Hinckley and Elder Holland met with 250 members of the Church in Darwin, the capital of Australia's Northern Territory. Those who greeted the prophet and Elder Holland included local aboriginal Church members and others who were unable to travel to Adelaide for the dedication.
After the Australian dedications, President Hinckley, Elder Holland and Elder Cook met with some 1,000 members in the Pacific Island nation of New Caledonia. New Caledonia is part of the Suva Fiji temple district but a two-hour flight away in the South Pacific ocean.
Then followed a three-and-a-half-hour stopover in Suva for the dedication ceremony. On the way home to Utah, President Hinckley visited the American Samoan capital of Pago Pago where the official party was met by the governor, Tauese Sunia, his wife and other legislative and judicial representatives. President Hinckley then presided at a meeting of nearly 5,000 Church members which was held at the Veterans Stadium.
In the issue of July 1, Church News plans to include highlights of President Hinckley's messages during these recent travels.