Organisation - April 12, 2012

Easter bonfire on campus

Last Thursday, a mighty fire raged on campus as the Navigators student society held their second big Easter bonfire. The students had 40 cubic metres of firewood from Unifarm at their disposal.

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'We started building the fire at about nine in the evening and got the flames up immediately,' relates Bouke enthusiastically. He is the chairman of the outreach committee which organizes external activities for this Christian student society. 'When the fire was being lit, many residents from the surrounding area and their children were attracted to the site.'  An hour later, students started to arrive in large numbers, many of whom were international students who had seen the bonfire from the Bornsesteeg. A group of students held a short flash mob; a small troupe swayed and sang 'I will follow him'. Subsequently, someone read a speech from Martin Luther King.
'Easter is an important occasion for Christians,' says Bouke, 'but we don't want to make it too formal. The main thing is to find an amiable way to talk about the meaning of Easter. A song and a speech are all that's needed.' And they had succeeded in reaching out to people; about 200 people were present throughout the evening.
The Easter bonfire is not a Christian tradition, though. 'It's a pagan practice,' says Bouke. 'Celebratory bonfires were lit all year round In the early days; the Easter fire came into being by chance.'

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