Salvation Army celebrates 75 years in Meadow Lake

Salvation Army Majors Don and Joan Law were posted in Meadow Lake from 1974-77.

By Mac Christie

The guests of honour for the Meadow Lake Salvation Army’s 75th anniversary celebration were Major’s Don and Joan Law, who were posted in Meadow Lake from 1974-77.

“It’s nice to come back and see people you maybe haven’t seen for 30 years,” said Maj. Don Law. “It’s nice to see (the Army) is still going, to see the continuation of the Army in the community and being part of the community.”

For the present Majors, Peter and Karen Eason, who have are in the midst of their second posting in Meadow Lake, the anniversary shows both the need for the Salvation Army in the community, as well as the support the institution has received.

“The community has supported the Salvation Army through all those years,” Karen noted. “We wouldn’t be here without the support of the community.”

Peter added that while there’s a humanitarian aspect to the Salvation Army, it is a Christian organization.

“We are part of the church with a very keen social calling and conscience,” he noted. “We could never do anything that we do without the strength that God gives us.”

But the Eason’s are just part of a long line of officers over the Salvation Army’s 75 years in Meadow Lake.

The institution was started in Meadow Lake in 1936 by Adjutant John Moll and his wife, who arrived in Meadow Lake when it was barely incorporated as a town, and Peter said he draws inspiration from the Molls.

“They’re a wonderful example of commitment, of passion and compassion, hard work and the absolute determination to be faithful to the call,” he said, recalling stories of Adjutant John walking from Meadow Lake and back to visit people in Pierceland, or walking to the St. Cyr area in the wintertime.

“When I look back I say, ‘What a tremendous example that has been set for us by them over the years,’” he said. “We’re not here today without the faithfulness of those that served before us.”

For their part, the Eason’s said they have tried to focus on the marginalized in society, something they’ll continue to do in the future.

It’s a future that may include expansion, as they plan to consolidate their operation, putting the church, thrift store and community services in one building, as well as building a shelter.

“We want to be a place where people feel like that belong, are accepted and feel like a family,” Peter said.

While those who have led the organization over the years have allowed the Salvation Army to reach its 75th anniversary, the community has also been invaluable, Peter noted.

“It’s a real collaborative effort, it’s not only been the officers, it’s been the local people,” he added. “You can’t do it on your own.”

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