MORE than a century of life-changing community support and involvement will be celebrated this weekend, with the 125th Salvation Army Albany anniversary concert.
The international charity organisation has a long history in Australia, with the mission of sharing the Gospel and caring for others, building com-munities, working for justice and creating faith pathways.
Major Paul Beardsley speaks proudly of the history of Albany’s Salvation Army and its engagement with the community.
“When we first began, our efforts were considered as the successful invasion of the Salvation Army, with its military-style organisation,” Major Beardsley said.
“The Albany Corps began in 1892 on July 11, after Salvation Army officers such as Charles Jeffries first visited the area.
“The idea of the Salvation Army is that it supports the community in the varying ways the community needs, and changes its aid as the needs of the community change.”
Salvation Army Albany Corps organises the Red Shield Appeal each year, as well as annual overseas projects, welfare program ‘Doorways’, women’s craft and sewing groups, and music activities for children.
“Every year, there is a project we engage with overseas,” Major Beardsley said.
“This year, we are providing aid in Indonesia.
“The Eva Burrows Women’s Shelter needs renovations, so all the Salvation Armies in Australia are raising money for it.”
The 125th Albany anniversary performance celebrating the dedication and hard work of past and current Salvation Army officers will be held at the Albany Town Hall at 7.30pm this Saturday night, and will feature the talents of the Perth Fortress Corps Band and the City of Albany Band.
The anniversary concert is being held three months after the official date marking the beginning of the Albany Corps, to allow visitors and audiences to enjoy the warmer weather of Albany’s spring.
“Our 30-piece brass band will be coming down to help the Albany Corps celebrate 125 years of uninterrupted service,” Corps Officer of Perth Fortress Corps Major Paul Hateley said.
“We will be performing an array of brass music.
“We’ve been all over the countryside this year and we’re really looking forward to coming to Albany.”
Divisional Commander for WA Lieutenant-Colonel Chris Reid will make a guest appearance at the concert and give a greeting to the audience.
“Lieutenant-Colonel Reid is the first female state leader in the WA Salvation Army’s 125-year history,” Major Hateley said.
An open day at the North Road Salvation Army building this Sunday will wrap up the anniversary celebrations.
“We will have different displays showing our histories, as well as what projects we have done and are currently doing,” Major Beardsley said.
“There will also be a free sausage sizzle and a raffle to win a boy and girl’s bike.”
Tickets to the October 7 performance can be purchased from Uptown Music, the Albany Salvation Army building and the Salvation Army Community Store.