Captain saying goodbye

By Olivia Duffey

After five years in Deniliquin, Salvation Army Captain Sandra Walmsley is being posted to Forbes.

It will be her sixth posting in the 15 years she has been a Salvation Army officer and she is excited about being closer to her family.

‘‘My dad is in a nursing home in Sydney, so while I am excited about Forbes, I am more excited about being closer to him.

‘‘I also feel like I have done what I can here, so it is time for someone new to take on the reins and develop the Salvation Army further with some fresh, new ideas and insights.’’

Capt Walmsley, while she will be based out of Forbes, will look after the church activities in the district and also manage two family stores.

She does not know who will replace her in Deniliquin.

‘‘There are a few gaps in the field change list this year and Deni is one of them,’’ she said.,

‘‘As in most churches, there is a shortage of people willing to put their hand up for full-time ministry work so it is a case of recruiting and finding the gap fillers. Hopefully we will find out in the next few weeks.’’

Capt Walmsley said she will never forget Deniliquin, the town she has grown so fond of and the community she loves.

‘‘I have loved my time here; I am a country girl at heart, so coming to this small country town has been incredible,’’ she said.

‘‘I have made some great friends and while it is an isolated community, that actually makes it a better community because people rally around when things happen.’’

And it is not just Capt Walmsley scheduled to move, with the family store in Edwardes St relocating to 356 Cressy St next month.

‘‘We will open on October 1 in our new location between Just Jeans and the travel centre,’’ Capt Walmsley said.

‘‘We have been looking to move for quite a while. The building we are in hasn’t been maintained to our required standard, not only for our volunteers but also for our customers.

‘‘It is exciting to be going somewhere that will have wheelchair and pram access, heating and cooling and all of those basic facilities.’’

Capt Walmsley hopes the fresh look of the store and location will bring in a different clientele as well as their regulars and travellers.

‘‘Being in a different part of town will be refreshing and hopefully our loyal and regular customers will find us and we will attract more visitors,’’ she said.

‘‘We having a half-price sale to try and clear our stock because none of it will go in the new shop, where we will start afresh.’’

It is an exciting new chapter for the local Salvation Army, but Capt Walmsley said it was the volunteers who make it all happen.

‘‘The volunteers have made my time in Deniliquin so much fun and at the new shop I hope some new people put their hand up to volunteer,’’ she said.