Salvos have new lead­ers

Benalla Ensign - - Front Page - By Monique Freer

The Be­nalla com­mu­nity has wel­comed a new fam­ily at the helm of the Sal­va­tion Army.

Lieu­tenants Sean and Rachel At­tard moved to Be­nalla last month to take over the po­si­tion from Peter and Heather El­lis.

‘‘The army is well known for be­ing a good part of the com­mu­nity,’’ Mrs At­tard said.

‘‘We are still get­ting our heads around how this place op­er­ates. We have a lot of great peo­ple who like to serve in what­ever way God’s lead­ing them.

‘‘We are def­i­nitely ex­cited to dream about how we can be in­volved in a pos­i­tive way in this com­mu­nity.’’

Mrs At­tard grew up in the Sal­va­tion Army as her par­ents were of­fi­cers, but did not en­vis­age join­ing un­til she was work­ing as a school teacher and felt the call­ing to do more.

Dur­ing high school in NSW, Mr At­tard was in­vited to go along to a meet­ing with his friends, but he ad­mits he ‘‘only went for the free pizza’’.

‘‘It didn’t take long to re­alise there were a lot of great peo­ple in the or­gan­i­sa­tion who took an in­ter­est in me,’’ he said.

‘‘I was just some kid but they’d get me in­volved in things.

‘‘You can get ex­cited by it and you can be in­spired by it.’’

The At­tards were liv­ing in Castle­maine on their first ap­point­ment be­fore mov­ing to Be­nalla this year.

They will take on a va­ri­ety of re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in­clud­ing regular church ser­vices, and they ad­mit­ted they felt they had big shoes to fill in re­plac­ing Peter and Heather El­lis.

‘‘We know Peter and Heather, they served here for 10 years, did an amaz­ing job, they were from here and they were beloved cit­i­zens of the town,’’ Mr At­tard said.

‘‘But since we got here it’s been all en­cour­age­ment and we feel very wel­comed. Our fears have been dis­pelled.

‘‘We know Peter and Heather’s big thing was hope and we sort of in­herit that legacy.

‘‘It’s our role now to make sure hope goes out to those who need it most. It’s for any­one who needs hope.’’

The cou­ple met at min­istry train­ing in Mel­bourne and have a three-year-old son Cohen and an­other child on the way.

‘‘Ba­bies are ex­cit­ing for ev­ery­one in a way,’’ Mr At­tard said.

‘‘We can share that with the peo­ple here, who de­scribe them­selves as a fam­ily. It’s nice we can raise a child in that en­vi­ron­ment.’’

New to town: New Sal­va­tion Army Be­nalla lieu­tenants Sean and Rachel At­tard with their son Cohen.

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