Salvos to re­main in the area

Southern Telegraph - - Telegraph News - Ai­den Boy­ham

With the Sal­va­tion Army in Bal­divis gear­ing up to make a land­mark move, the Tele­graph caught up with the hard­work­ing team at its Fifty Road site.

A long­stand­ing part of the lo­cal com­mu­nity, the Sal­va­tion Army Bal­divis re­cently an­nounced the place it cur­rently calls home was up for sale.

While there was an out­pour­ing of fond memories and tales from yes­ter­year at the news, Corps Of­fi­cer Lieu­tenant Ron­ald Sto­bie was keen to stress that even though the Salvos were on the move, they weren’t leav­ing Bal­divis. “We want to be re­ally clear, we are not leav­ing Bal­divis at all,” Lt Sto­bie said.

“It’s a rapidly grow­ing com­mu­nity and it’s one we want to be a part of and are in­vested in.”

Go­ing for­ward Lt Sto­bie said the Sal­va­tion Army wanted to build a new fa­cil­ity that would be pur­pose-built for the com­mu­nity. “Our hope is that we’ll be cen­tral to Bal­divis and where the peo­ple are,” he said.

“We’re still in con­ver­sa­tions around the ex­act lo­ca­tion but one of the big things for us is to be where the peo­ple are. We don’t want to be on the out­skirts any­more.”

The premises have also served as a camp­site for many schools and com­mu­nity groups over the years.

Long-time Sal­va­tion Army vol­un­teer Derek Lan­g­ley, who has been in­volved for 17 years, said some of his best memories came from his in­volve­ment with the se­niors pro­gram.

Fel­low vol­un­teer of 17 years He­len Ben­nett, who is well known for her hugs, said she had worked on the camp­site be­fore it be­came a church.

“It’s just great to be in­volved with the peo­ple here,” she said.

“The Mainly Mu­sic pro­gram in par­tic­u­lar is great be­cause we can work with par­ents and chil­dren. A lot of the mums have flyin, fly-out hus­bands so they of­ten need some­one to talk to and just to show a lit­tle bit of love as well — it’s fan­tas­tic.”

Sal­va­tion Army Bal­divis Corps Of­fi­cers Lt Ron­ald Sto­bie and Lt Amy Sto­bie are ex­cited for a bright new fu­ture in Bal­divis.

Pic­tures: Ai­den Boy­ham

Derek Lan­g­ley and He­len Ben­nett.

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