Sal­va­tion Army cel­e­brates 125 years

The Compass - - OPINION - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

It was an evening of friends, fel­low­ship and celebration as the Sal­va­tion Army in Bay Roberts marked its 125th year with a week­end full of ac­tiv­i­ties, June 1-3.

All cel­e­bra­tions kicked off with an an­niver­sary ban­quet on June 1, bring­ing together mem­bers of the con­gre­ga­tion and in­vited guests to com­mem­o­rate the be­gin­nings of the church in Bay Roberts, which put down its roots on March 15, 1887.

Mem­o­ries were shared and laughs had as the con­gre­ga­tion was treated to mem­o­ries from local mu­nic­i­pal lead­ers as well as a din­ner the­atre that en­ter­tained those in at­ten­dance, which in­cluded Port de Grave MP Glenn Lit­tle­john, Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood and former Lib­eral MP John Ef­ford, with song and word that re­counted the his­tory of the Sal­va­tion Army in Bay Roberts.

The event also reunited older mem­bers of the church com­mu­nity with pre­vi­ous of­fi­cers of the church.

As the en­ter­tain­ers broke into song, so did the au­di­ence, as men and women, young and old, clapped their hands and stomped their feet in time with the mu­sic.

When the spirit filled them, they all rose from their seats and de­liv­ered a rous­ing cho­rus.

Aid­ing in the fes­tiv­i­ties were mem­bers of the band, in­clud­ing Cap­tain Mor­gan Hillier.

Speak­ers paid trib­ute to the orig­i­nal fam­i­lies — Dawe, Thomp­son, Rus­sell, French, Boone, Fil­lier and Mor­gan — and the out­stand­ing work the Sal­va­tion Army does in the com­mu­nity.

The Bay Roberts corps has been un­der the guid­ance of Cap­tains Mor­gan and Lisa Hillier for the past four years and takes in parish­ioners from Ge­orge­town to Spa­niard’s Bay.

Prepa­ra­tions for the event started in Jan­uary of 2011, ac­cord­ing to Capt. Lisa Hillier.

Al­ways in­tended to be a week­end long celebration of the past 125 years, Capt. Lisa said each event was a success and met with high re­views from mem­bers of the Sal­va­tion Army com­mu­nity, as well as spe­cial guests Colonels Floyd and Tracey Tidd, chief sec­re­tary and ter­ri­to­rial sec­re­tary with women’s min­istries re­spec­tively of the Sal­va­tion Army’s Canada & Ber­muda Ter­ri­tory.

“They were very pleased to be a part of the cel­e­bra­tions,” she said.

Capt. Lisa said the Tidds were very pleased with all of the work put in by the var­i­ous com­mit­tee’s re­spon­si­ble for ac­tiv­i­ties dur­ing the week­end. They were es­pe­cially fond of the rental car given to them for the week­end.

It was a Jaguar.

Cap­tain’s idea

Capt. Lisa was the driv­ing force be­hind the week­end of cel­e­bra­tions. There is a cer­tain level of stress that ac­com­pa­nies putting together an event of this mag­ni­tude.

“It was a lit­tle bit (stress­ful), get­ting all of the de­tails and ev­ery­thing or­ga­nized to make sure ev­ery­thing ran smoothly,” she said.

A unique as­pect of the ban­quet was a din­ner the­atre-es­que pro­duc­tion that was ac­com­pa­nied by a slide show full of old pic­tures and time­less mem­o­ries.

Peo­ple in at­ten­dance could look on, iden­ti­fy­ing other fam­ily mem­bers and be­come closer to the work their fam­ily has done with the church.

Dur­ing var­i­ous in­ter­ludes in the pro­duc­tion, the four mem­bers of the brass band would play, some­times with the ac­com­pa­ni­ment of singing.

A full sing-a-long would soon erupt.

It was an un­usual as­pect that suc­ceeded in de­liv­er­ing a com­pelling oral his­tory of the church, with the help of some vis­ual aid.

“I wanted some­thing that would be dif­fer­ent, some­thing that was fun and some­thing that cap­tured some of the his­tory of the corps,” said Capt. Lisa.

She said she was in­fused with “ner­vous en­ergy” in the week lead­ing up to the an­niver­sary week­end,

The Sal­va­tion Army Corps in Bay Roberts brought together one of its youngest mem­bers with one of the old­est for the cer­e­mo­nial cake cut­ting at their 125th an­niver­sary held Fri­day, June 1. Those in­volved in the cake cut­ting, from left, are Cap­tains Mor­gan & Lisa Hillier, Sa­man­tha Yet­man, Josie Roach, Colonels Tracey & Floyd Tidd.

Mem­bers of the Sal­va­tion Army brass band en­ter­tained the au­di­ence and set the soul on fire at the 125th an­niver­sary of the Sal­va­tion Army Corps ban­quet, Bay Roberts, June 1.

THE COM­PASS

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