Caring for people still an honour for Bert
12 June 2017
Major Bert George, a retired Salvation Army officer, has always loved caring for people.
He began official Salvation Army ministry in 1970 with his wife Jean, and during their careers they ran Salvation Army churches (corps), social services in Australia and Papua New Guinea, aged care centres and also worked in various chaplaincy and counselling roles, including in prisons.
Despite official retirement 10 years ago, Bert still works as a court chaplain in Port Macquarie (NSW).
“People who use court services come from all walks of life; the rich and poor, offenders and victims,” he says. “There are also the workers – various court officials, admin staff and solicitors. All have various pressures and worries, so at critical times really appreciate a word of encouragement, or an offer of help.
“In some cases, chaplains sit in during court sessions to help people who are in need of comfort or support, especially people who have no one else to turn to.”
Friendly connections with Honoured Friends
Bert saw the role of Honoured Friends representative as a natural flow-on from his counselling and chaplaincy roles. In this position, he stays in contact with “Honoured Friends” – a group of people who have indicated they have left The Salvation Army a gift in their Will – and provides support on request.
“It just seemed a perfect fit to encourage people who want to help The Salvation Army and serve their wider community in some way,” he says. “We support them as they support others in need. It is an honour.”
Bert says many Honoured Friends have either been long-term supporters of The Salvation Army’s work or received help themselves in the past and want to give to others.
“Whatever the reasons, and especially for those who can’t get out as much because of age or health, many deeply appreciate a friendly call or visit from an Honoured Friends representative,” he says.
By Naomi Singlehurst
The Salvation Army has many Honoured Friends representatives like Major Bert George who would love the opportunity to say “hello” and stay in touch. If you have left The Salvation Army a gift in your Will, please let us know so we can say thank you, and you can request regular contact with an Honoured Friends representative. Please call 1800 337 082 or email firstname.lastname@example.org