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Order of the Founder presented

Noel Jones accepts Order of the Founder AwardBandmaster Noel Jones, an exemplary Salvation Army bandsman, bandmaster and writer of more than 80 musical compositions, has been awarded the Order of the Founder - The Salvation Army’s highest honour.

He was recognised on Saturday 21 June at Waverley Temple Corps in Victoria during a banding appreciation and celebration festival, honouring his recent retirement as bandmaster of the Melbourne Veterans’ Band. Noel was presented with the Order of the Founder certificate and medal by chief secretary Colonel Peter Walker, who drew attention to Jones’s notable musical accomplishments.

‘[Noel] has many gifts, including the gift of encouragement, which has been evidenced throughout his life in the way he has influenced both young and old,’ said Colonel Walker. ‘He has been a local officer for over 53 years, serving as songster leader, young people’s band leader and bandmaster. He held the position of territorial music director for 14 years, and was also a member of the Melbourne Staff Band for 14 years. For the last 13 years, he has been bandmaster of the Melbourne Veterans’ Band until he retired from that position in January.’

‘Noel has worked tirelessly in serving God through The Salvation Army for more than 50 years,’ concluded Colonel Walker. ‘His service and ministry is outstanding, above and beyond the call of duty.’

Noel has also directed local music camps, guest led international camps, mentored young musicians, and raises several thousand dollars each year for the corps by playing his cornet at a local shopping centre.

‘I count it a great honour to be a recipient of the Order of the Founder. I never cease to be amazed by the achievements of our Founder William Booth who was continually guided by the Holy Spirit. I thank the Lord for, and am amazed by, the wonder-working power of Jesus in my life,’ said Noel.

The night was also used to mark the formal change of name from the Melbourne Veterans’ Band to the Melbourne Red Shield Band. This change has also seen a reduction to the eligible membership age—to 55-plus—and membership has been opened to non-Army Christian musicians. A new flag was presented to flag sergeant Charles Allchin and dedicated.