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Caring for people still an honour for Bert

 Caring for people still an honour for Bert

Caring for people still an honour for Bert

17 July 2017

Retired Salvation Army officer, Major Bert George still pursues his calling to care for people. 

By Naomi Singlehurst

Major Bert George, a retired Salvation Army officer, has always loved caring for people. Despite official retirement 10 years ago, he still works as a court chaplain in Port Macquarie, on the mid-north NSW coast and is also a Salvation Army Honoured Friends representative.

He began official Salvation Army ministry in 1970 with his wife Jean, and during their careers they ran Salvation Army corps, social services in Australia and Papua New Guinea, aged care centres and also worked in various chaplaincy and counselling roles, including in prisons.

“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.”

When Bert took up an opportunity to become an Honoured Friends representative, he saw it 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.

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