Eugene Landa

From Australasian Record, December 20, 1976.

Landa, Eugene Joseph (1908–2006) and Emmanuele Marie-Jeanne (Baldino) (1908–1967); later Olive (Hodgkinson) (1931–2018)

By Milton Hook

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Milton Hook, Ed.D. (Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, the United States). Hook retired in 1997 as a minister in the Greater Sydney Conference, Australia. An Australian by birth Hook has served the Church as a teacher at the elementary, academy and college levels, a missionary in Papua New Guinea, and as a local church pastor. In retirement he is a conjoint senior lecturer at Avondale College of Higher Education. He has authored Flames Over Battle Creek, Avondale: Experiment on the Dora, Desmond Ford: Reformist Theologian, Gospel Revivalist, the Seventh-day Adventist Heritage Series, and many magazine articles. He is married to Noeleen and has two sons and three grandchildren.

First Published: January 29, 2020

Eugene Landa was a pastor and church administrator in Algeria, France, Israel, Tahiti, and Australia.

Early experience

Eugene Landa was born in Russia on June 24, 1908. His parents were French citizens. As a young man he spent several years in commercial business. He first encountered Seventh-day Adventists when he was receiving treatment at the Lake Geneva Sanitarium in Gland, Switzerland. As a consequence he was baptised and decided to train for the ministry at the Seminaire Adventiste du Saleve in Collonges-sous-Saleve, France. He spent three years in preparation, 1932-1934, at times engaging in colporteur work to pay his boarding and tuition fees.1

Church Employment

In 1935 Landa was appointed to the Algerian Mission, a fledgling Adventist community of only 250 members. There he met Emmanuele Marie-Jeanne Baldino (b. 19082), a young lady with Roman Catholic parents who had objected to her interest in the Methodist faith and her habit of distributing New Testaments from door to door in Constantine, Algeria. They locked her in their home for twelve months to deter her but on release she secretly worshipped with her Methodist friends until she met a Seventh-day Adventist lady who persuaded her of the Saturday Sabbath. Emmanuele met Eugene while he was working in Constantine, and they were married in 1938.3 Eugene became the leader of the church in the Constantine Province, and it was there that their children Paul and Ruth were born. Eugene was ordained in Algiers on January 29, 1944.4 He remained in Algiers, working in connection with the Vie et Sante (Life and Health) Institute until the end of the World War II.5

Eugene returned to France after the War to minister in the cities of Marseille and Angers until 19516 when he was assigned to Jerusalem as superintendent of the Israel Mission. In that locality the Seventh-day Adventist church was in its pioneer stage, having been organised in 1950 with one church of twenty-one members. Like the mission in Algiers, the church also boasted a small health enterprise called the Jerusalem Institute for Massage but it was short-lived.7 This was one of the most difficult corners of the globe to evangelise despite the presence of many immigrants from Russia and Western European countries with whom Eugene could communicate. It took twenty years before the church membership numbered fifty.

In 1954 Eugene accepted the role of secretary of the French Oceania Mission with headquarters at Papeete, Tahiti.8 This move to the Antipodes was a major one for the Landa family, and they spent the rest of their lives in service in the South Pacific. Eugene was elected president of the French Oceania Mission a year after their arrival in Tahiti. In the course of his term he carried multiple portfolios at times, responsibilities such as treasurer, home missions, radio, religious liberty, and temperance in addition to his ex-officio seat in the Central Pacific Mission executive committee. He held these positions until mid-1959.9

The mission in Tahiti experienced growth under Eugene’s leadership, over two hundred baptisms being reported in the quadrennium, 1955-1958.10 Outlying stations on Raiatea and Bora Bora advanced, and a large modern church was in the advanced building stage when the Landa’s took their furlough in June 1959, spending six months in France.11 Early in 1957 Emmanuele had suffered a stroke, leaving her with indifferent health. During furlough she underwent major heart surgery.12

On return to service in 1960 Eugene had requested an appointment in Australia where good medical attention was readily available, and where they could be closer to their two children who were advancing their college education. Victorian Conference officials were pleased to welcome Eugene to focus his efforts on the European immigrants in Melbourne.13 For three years he ministered in this capacity and then transferred to Brisbane to do similar work.14 It was there that Emmanuele died on September 4, 1967.15

Later Years

Eugene soldiered on alone, taking lighter duties but still preaching on a regular basis. In 1972 he was listed as having honorary ministerial credentials in the South Queensland Conference.16 In that same year he re-married. Eugene and Olive Hodgkinson (born June 14, 1931) wed in the Wallsend SDA church, NSW, on January 23, 1972.17 Eugene enjoyed a long and relatively healthy retirement, passing away in Wyong, NSW, on August 23, 2006, aged ninety-eight. He was a man who quietly and intelligently shared his Christian faith, grasping tough assignments at times. His multi-language skills were valued in all the mission fields where he served. Olive, having served in a number of conferences as an administrative assistant for 32 years, died on August 23, 2018 and was buried in the Adventist cemetery, Cooranbong, New South Wales.18 

Sources

Ball, Bryan and Roger Nixon. "Olive Daisy Landa obituary." Adventist Record, October 20, 2018.

Branster, G[ordon]. “Exciting News from the Central Pacific.” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, September 19, 1955.

Branster, G[ordon]. “The Central Pacific Union Mission.” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, January 19, 1959.

Eugene Joseph Landa Worker's Biographical Record. South Pacific Division of the General Conference, Wahroonga, NSW. Work Service Records. Folder: Eugene Joseph Landa. Document: "Worker's Biographical Record."

Goldstone, Ross, Bryan Ball and David Hay. “Eugene Joseph Landa obituary.” Record, September 23, 2006.

“Landa, Emmanuele Marie-Jeanne Balding.” Obituary Citation. Australian Record, January 22, 1968. Accessed June 21, 2019. https://encore.andrews.edu/iii/encore/record/C__Rb3796969__SLanda%2C__Ff%3Afacetcollections%3A2%3A2%3ASDA%20Obituaries%3A%3A__P0%2C2__Orightresult__U__X6?lang=eng&suite=cobalt.

Landa, E[ugene] J. “Personal Items from the Central Pacific.” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, March 4, 1957.

Landa, E[ugene] J. “Missionaries Evacuate Home in Cyclone.” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, March 23, 1959.

[Naden, Lawrence C]. “8,000 Miles and Four Mission Sessions.” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, July 27, 1959.

“Pastor E.J. Landa, who came from…” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey,  August 25, 1958.

“Personal Items from the Central Pacific.” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, March 4, 1957.

Rose, L[eo] S. “Landa - Hodgkinson.” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, March 27, 1972.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association. Years 1939-1972.

Stewart, M[el] M. “Emmanuelle Marie-Jeanne Landa obituary.” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, December 11, 1967.

Stewart, M[el] M. “Life Sketch of Mrs E.J. Landa.” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, January 22, 1968.

Notes

  1. Eugene Joseph Landa Worker's Biographical Record. South Pacific Division of the General Conference, Wahroonga, NSW. Work Service Records. Folder: Eugene Joseph Landa. Document: "Worker's Biographical Record."

  2. “Landa, Emmanuele Marie-Jeanne Balding,” Obituary Citation, Australian Record, January 22, 1968, accessed June 21, 2019, https://encore.andrews.edu/iii/encore/record/C__Rb3796969__SLanda%2C__Ff%3Afacetcollections%3A2%3A2%3ASDA%20Obituaries%3A%3A__P0%2C2__Orightresult__U__X6?lang=eng&suite=cobalt.

  3. M[el] M Stewart, "Life Sketch of Mrs E.J. Landa," Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, January 22, 1968, 6-7.

  4. Eugene Joseph Landa Worker's Biographical Record. South Pacific Division of the General Conference, Wahroonga, NSW. Work Service Records. Folder: Eugene Joseph Landa. Document: "Worker's Biographical Record."

  5. "Algerian Mission," Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1946), 206

  6. "Worker's Directory," Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1947), 382.

  7. "Israel Mission," Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1952), 141.

  8. "French Oceania Mission," Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1954), 86-87.

  9. "French Oceania Mission," Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1958), 72.

  10. G[ordon] Branster, "The Central Pacific Union Mission," Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, January 19, 1959, 10-11.

  11. [Lawrence C Naden], "8,000 Miles and Four Mission Sessions," Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, July 27, 1959, 1-2.

  12. M[el] M. Stewart, "Life Sketch of Mrs E.J. Landa," Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, January 22, 1968, 6-7.

  13. "Pastor E.J. Landa who came from..." Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, August 25, 1958, 8.

  14. "Queensland Conference," Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1963), 92.

  15. M[el] M. Stewart, "Emmanuelle Marie-Jeanne Landa," Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, December 11, 1967, 6.

  16. "South Queensland Conference," Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1972), 121.

  17. L[eo] S. Rose, "Landa-Hodgkinson," Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, March 27, 1972, 14.

  18. Ross Goldstone, Bryan Ball and David Hay, "Eugene Joseph Landa obituary," Record, September 23, 2006, 14; Bryan Ball and Roger Nixon, "Olive Daisy Landa obituary," Adventist Record, October 20, 2018, 21.

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Hook, Milton. "Landa, Eugene Joseph (1908–2006) and Emmanuele Marie-Jeanne (Baldino) (1908–1967); later Olive (Hodgkinson) (1931–2018)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Accessed February 26, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=97YV.

Hook, Milton. "Landa, Eugene Joseph (1908–2006) and Emmanuele Marie-Jeanne (Baldino) (1908–1967); later Olive (Hodgkinson) (1931–2018)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Date of access February 26, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=97YV.

Hook, Milton (2020, January 29). Landa, Eugene Joseph (1908–2006) and Emmanuele Marie-Jeanne (Baldino) (1908–1967); later Olive (Hodgkinson) (1931–2018). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved February 26, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=97YV.