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Six new soldiers bolster ranks at Melbourne Project 614


Project 614’s newest senior soldiers holding their certificates (from left): Dianne, KJ, Robert, Greg, Scott and Jianfen. (Middle row): Lieut-Colonel Yvonne Daniels, Majors Brendan and Sandra Nottle, Major Pearson Chuang. Matthew Daniels (614 café manager) is holding the flag.

By CLIFF WORTHING

Senior soldiership becomes highly relevant today when a corps delivers on mission, according to Major Brendan Nottle, Project 614 Corps Officer in Melbourne.


Amongst all the celebrations on Easter Sunday at the inner-city corps, six senior soldiers were enrolled.


“During tough times, having a place to belong, being in a tribe of significance that is meaningful is something people search for,” Brendan said.


Retired officers Lieutenant-Colonel Frank and Yvonne Daniels led the soldiership classes. One of the soldiers, Jianfen, preferred spiritual conversations in her native language, so she worked individually with Chinese-speaking Major Pearson Chuang (Melbourne Project 614 Corps Officer, team member).


“It was great working with them because they were keen and wanted to put their faith in action through 614’s mission,” Frank said. “They came from such diverse backgrounds but became a tight little group through the soldiership process.”

Individual journeys

Dianne came to Project 614 after Salvos Funerals conducted her daughter’s funeral. She was so impressed with the officer who conducted the funeral and the funeral director that she asked for the nearest Salvation Army corps to attend. Frank and Yvonne met her at the front door and listened to her story. She now volunteers at the corps café.


“Dianne embraced the congregation in an amazing way and before long said to me, ‘I’d like some of those epaulettes’, so we started recruiting a group to join her,” Frank said.


The new senior soldiers sign their certificates at the holiness table.

KJ had spent time in a Salvation Army children’s home, served in the military, and lived roughly before coming to 614. Two other soldiers had previous Salvo connections but have since found a home at Melbourne Project 614. “Everyone was involved in the corps some way but just wanted to make that extra commitment,” Frank said.


While the Daniels were leading the group through the soldiership process, Pearson was working with Jianfen. Jianfen had been a part of the Richmond congregation for about 20 years but started attending 614 about a year ago. She regularly attends the weekly Chinese language Bible study, and serves as a volunteer at the corps during Red Shield Appeal and collecting donations.

“She showed she had a love of the people and wanted to put her Christianity into action,” Pearson said. “So, when we discussed becoming a soldier, she jumped at the chance.”

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