Meet the Ped­dles

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY MELISSA JENK­INS SUB­MIT­TED

For the first time ever, a New­found­lan­der will hold the sec­ond high­est post of the Sal­va­tion Army.

Ear­lier this year, Com­mis­sioner Brian Ped­dle, orig­i­nally from Nor­man’s Cove, was ap­pointed chief of the staff for the or­ga­ni­za­tion. He re­ports di­rectly to Gen­eral An­dre Cox.

His wife, Com­mis­sioner Ros­alie Ped­dle — nee Rowe —was also given a pres­ti­gious ap­point­ment. She will take on the role of World Sec­re­tary for Women’s Min­istries. Ros­alie is from Car­bon­ear.

For al­most four decades, the cou­ple has taken on nu­mer­ous roles through­out the or­ga­ni­za­tion, with Brian be­gin­ning in Hant’s Har­bour and Ros­alie in Dead­man’s Bay. They worked to­gether at the Adam’s Av­enue church in St. John’s for eight years.

Over the past decade, they have spent much more time trav­el­ling. They had been ap­pointed to some higher po­si­tions, in­clud­ing ter­ri­to­rial lead­ers of Canada and Ber­muda.

Now liv­ing in the United King­dom, the cou­ple will take on their new roles of­fi­cially this Novem­ber.

“I’m not sure any­one that’s a Sal­va­tion Army of­fi­cer as­pires to lead the or­ga­ni­za­tion at this level. For us I think we were sur­prised,” Brian ex­plained, speak­ing over the phone from Eng­land.

Both are high-rank­ing po­si­tions in the or­ga­ni­za­tion, which will give them a lot of re­spon­si­bil­ity world- wide. That is some­thing that both en­tices them and keeps them hum­ble.

“We’re some­what hon­oured at one point, but over­whelmed with the re­spon­si­bil­ity at another point,” Brian said.

But that doesn’t mean they’re not up to the chal­lenge.

In pre­vi­ous po­si­tions held by each of them, they trav­elled to New Zealand, Africa and Sin­ga­pore, among other coun­tries. They never see travel as a hin­der­ance. In fact, they em­brace it.

“We’ve had the op­por­tu­nity to travel to these places, we’ve had the op­por­tu­nity to con­nect with peo­ple of dif­fer­ent coloured cul­ture and lan­guage and not feel it’s a bar­rier to friend­ship and col­le­gial ex-

pe­ri­ence,” Brian noted.

The new roles

Brian is cur­rently the in­ter­na­tional sec­re­tary for the Amer­i­cas and the Caribbean.

There have been 26 chief of the staff ap­point­ments to date, and only one other has been Cana­dian. Brian is quite ex­cited that he can say he’s the first New­found­lan­der.

One of his re­spon­si­bil­i­ties will be to form a high coun­cil to elect a new gen­eral when the po­si­tion be­comes va­cant. He also at­tends events on be­half of the gen­eral if he can not go.

He will con­tinue to travel the world and over­see oper­a­tions in all 127 coun­tries the Army is found in.

The gen­eral an­nounced the ap­point­ment in July through a news re­lease.

“It is of vi­tal im­por­tance for the Gen­eral of The Sal­va­tion Army to be sup­ported in min­istry and lead­er­ship by a trusted col­league who can ef­fec­tively and ef­fi­ciently ful­fill the role of the chief of the staff,” the news re­lease said.

As the wife of the sec­ond in com­mand, Ros­alie will at­tend events with her hus­band, but hav­ing her own post means she will be do­ing a lot of work on her own.

“I’m ex­pected as well to play a sig­nif­i­cant role in the work of the in­ter­na­tional head­quar­ters … par­tic­u­larly in the area of women’s is­sues and women,” she said. “Look­ing at so­cial jus­tice, which will be a big is­sue for around the world be­cause, you know that women are dif­fer­ent in ev­ery coun­try and place around out global world. So that will be very in­ter­est­ing.”

Sev­eral of the is­sues that she will face in­clude women’s is­sues with so­cial and spir­i­tual jus­tice, hu­man traf­fick­ing, ed­u­ca­tion and health is­sues. The Army will part­ner with other or­ga­ni­za­tions to help com­bat the prob­lems sur­round­ing these top­ics.

True to their roots

Even though the Ped­dles have spent a lot of time away from New­found­land, they will al­ways con­sider them­selves New­found­lan­ders first.

“The chal­lenge is be­ing away from fam­ily — our two girls and our ( five) grand­kids live in Canada,” said Ros­alie. “We do keep close con­tact with them on Facetime, and we never miss the big mile­stones.”

But trav­el­ling abroad is an im­por­tant part of their jobs, some­thing they are pleased about.

“I’ve come a long way from the high school in Nor­man’s Cove,” Brian laughed. “Our world view has ex­panded in­cred­i­bly.”

What they are ex­cited about now is con­tin­u­ing their work with the Army, do­ing public speak­ing en­gage­ments all around the world, but New­found­land will al­ways weigh on their minds.

“We’re very proud New­found­lan­ders, and we still ap­pre­ci­ate Pu­rity crack­ers,” Brian laughed.

Brian (left) and Ros­alie Ped­dle have been ap­pointed to pres­ti­gious posts within the Sal­va­tion Army and will be­gin serv­ing those roles in Novem­ber.

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