Love conquers All
14 October 2014
John lost more than most in the 2011 Queensland floods.
When his home in Bundaberg was flooded in late December 2010 he retreated with his salvaged belongings to his parents’ home in the Lockyer Valley. Five days later floodwaters swept through and took not only the house, but his father’s life.
In the five weeks of uncertainty and turmoil before John’s father’s body was recovered, John met Charlotte – a former neighbour who still lived in the area. Despite the tragedy, love triumphed.
“Charlotte was the most compassionate, caring, loving person I had ever met,” John remembers. Within a month he knew she was the person he wanted to spend his life with.
A few months after the floods John and Charlotte were invited to attend a Salvation Army retreat in Sydney for people affected by the Queensland disasters.
“The camp was good,” remembers John. “It was good to be away from Queensland for a little while, a good break.”
There, they met The Salvation Army’s Major Paul Moulds, head of the QLD relief effort, and a friendship was formed. They kept in contact and as John and Charlotte’s relationship grew stronger, Major Moulds offered them support and encouragement.
“Paul’s been great. He’s always been there for us – he’s a bit like a second family to us,” says John. “He’s not too far away if we ever need to ask anything.”
On New Years Day 2012, Major Paul Moulds married John and Charlotte in an emotional ceremony.
“Charlotte and John, your love has been formed in the fires of tragedy and trial. That I think makes it stronger,” Major Moulds said during the wedding ceremony. “You have walked together the road of suffering and heartache. You know you will be there for each other, because you already have been.
“Charlotte and John have chosen today, the first day of the new year, as a symbol of the power of redemption, of good coming out of bad. After a difficult and life changing 2011, they symbolically claim a new 2012, a year of happiness and new experiences, a new journey together.”