City gets new Salvos officers
Wednesday, 20th January, 2021
By Annette Northey
Broken Hill has two new Salvation Army officers who are looking forward to contributing to spiritual and social wellbeing in the community.
Corps Officers Kevin and Sugu Meredith arrived in the Silver City last week with their two children, Naomi and Andrew, and held their first service at the Salvation Army Church on Sunday.
They were happy to see about 15 people attend the service, considering recent social restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Before their arrival in Broken Hill, they spent five years in Devonport, Tasmania, after having served in country Victoria for six years.
The couple met in Burma (Myanmar), where Kevin went to work as a lay worker with the Salvos and where Sugu had been commissioned and ordained as a Salvo officer in 2002.
“We fell in love, got married, and I followed her into the ministry,” Kevin said.
“So, I did my training there (Burma) in appointment and finished off in Singapore.”
Sugu said her calling since 2002 has been to renovate and rebuild spiritually in the church, and that she sees coming to Broken Hill as a part of that calling.
“We may need to take time, and give people time to get to know us,” Sugu said.
“And then we’ll see what the community and the church need and start with that.”
Kevin said The Salvos has a two-fold function.
“We are well known in the community for the social work that we do and there are social programs in the town already,” he said.
“But also, with the Salvation Army, it’s a Christian denomination, so the spiritual ministry for us is (important).
“If you only have one and not the other it’s like a bird that needs two wings to fly.”
The ministry will be an integral part of their work in Broken Hill.
“But we will also have some social programs and activities that we’ll be looking to try and do,” Kevin said.
“We need to see what other agencies are doing, like St Vinnies and Catholic Care and others, not necessarily to duplicate what they do, but to find gaps.
“And it may be that we do something where there is a need.”
Sugu said they love to engage with the community on a social level with events such as RSL memorial services.
Kevin said one of Sugu’s gifts is hospitality, so she is a very good cook, and perhaps one type of activity they hold might be a community meal.
“In the past, we’ve had things like men’s breakfasts.
“For people that don’t get out into the community too much, just having a simple meal together and a bit of banter always goes down well.
“You might get twenty people or so, but that can be a really important thing for their mental wellbeing.”
Kevin and Sugu see themselves being in Broken Hill for at least six years, as Naomi will be entering Year 7 at Broken Hill High School this year and Andrew will go into Year 2 at Broken Hill Public School.
Kevin said he has a lovely link to Broken Hill.
His grandmother and grandfather spent a year in the city in 1924 as officers in the Broken Hill North Corps, back when there were four Salvation Army corps here.
Everyone is welcome to Sunday service, which commences at 10.30am, and to enjoy a cuppa afterwards.
The Salvation Army Church at 196 Wolfram Street has ample space for social distancing, and there is a COVID-safe plan in place.