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Brigadier Steer maintains family tradition of receiving letters from the Queen

Brigadier Steer maintains family tradition of receiving letters from the Queen

Brigadier Steer maintains family tradition of receiving letters from the Queen

29 May 2017

Brigadier Vera Steer at her birthday celebration with her letter from the Queen and five men whom she and her husband cared for at various boys homes during their officership.

By Dean Simpson

Brigadier Vera Steer became the third member of her family to turn 100 when she celebrated the milestone on 7 May.

Making the milestone even more remarkable is the fact that she is also the third Salvation Army officer in the family to reach 100.

Brigadier Steer’s sister, Brigadier Emily Day, who turned 100 in 2015, and their mother, Major Laura Day, who reached a century in 1976, also received congratulatory letters from Queen Elizabeth.

Family members came from near and far to celebrate Brigadier Steer’s birthday in Melbourne. Brigadier Steer was born in Burra, South Australia, the third of four children to Majors Samuel and Laura Day.

Her parents were the Corps Officers at Burra at the time. As Vera Day (her maiden name), she joined the Dauntless Evangelists session of cadets in 1939, with her sister Emily joining the Hold Fast session a year later.

Brigadier Steer married in 1945, and she and her husband Hedley spent the next four decades serving as Salvation Army officers until their retirement in 1983.

Hedley was promoted to glory in May 2000 and Brigadier Steer moved to Weeroona retirement village in Melbourne before moving to her current home in Inala Village.

Brigadier Steer and her husband had several appointments serving in Salvation Army boys’ homes, among them Box Hill and Lyndon Lodge in Melbourne, and Barrington Boys’ Home in New Town, Tasmania.

Five men, who were cared for by the Steers when they were boys, attended Brigadier Steer’s 100th birthday to honour her love and care for them during their childhood.

During the celebration, while thanking everybody for coming, Brigadier Steer said she didn’t do sermons these days. One of the former boys she cared for responded that she “lived a sermon every day”.

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