The Salvation Army Botwood, NL Canada
 
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Our Corps History

 03-01-1895 - Captain Arch Baker  09-01-1931 - Adjutant Arthur Parsons
 10-16-1895 - Captain William Snow  07-20-1933 - Ensign Fred Haggett
 07-15-1896 - Captain P. Dowell  07-11-1935 - Adjutant John Pike
 11-06-1896 - Captain W. Hawkins  06-25-1936 - Major John Oake
 06-26-1897 - Captain W. Butt  08-11-1938 - Major Thomas Robbins
 11-01-1897 - Captain B. Tilley  08-07-1941 - Adjutant Baxter Evans
 06-01-1898 - Captain R. Bennett  11-20-1941 - Adjutant Gordon Driscoll
 02-28-1899 - Captain J. Baggs  07-09-1944 - Major Domino Goulding
 07-06-1900 - Captain M. Burry  11-22-1945 - Adjutant Hezekiah Pilgrim
 11-21-1900 - Captain J. Janes  07-04-1952 - Sr. Captain Garfield Hickman
 06-25-1901 - Captain J. Reader  07-09-1954 - Sr. Major Domino Goulding
 10-29-1901 - Captain Elizabeth Cafe  07-14-1955 - Captain Clarence Thompson
 12-10-1902 - Captain J. Follett  07-14-1959 - Sr. Major Kenneth Gill
 06-29-1903 - Ensign Samuel Bishop  07-14-1960 - Sr. Captain Samuel Moore
 11-03-1904 - Captain Myra Burt  10-05-1961 - Captain Aubrey Barfoot
 11-09-1905 - Captain Robert Bowering  06-24-1965 - Captain Alex Anthony
 07-06-1906 - Captain Regina Rideout  07-10-1969 - Captain Edwin Hiscock
 05-30-1907 - Captain William Collins  07-05-1973 - Major & Mrs. James Cooper
 06-11-1908 - Captain John Oake  07-01-1976 - Captain & Mrs. John Lake
 11-01-1911 - Ensign George Earle  06-01-1979 - Lieut. Gwen Rice (Assistant)
 06-14-1912 - Ensign Lorenzo Dunnians  06-01-1980 - Captain & Mrs. Charles Stride
 08-08-1914 - Ensign Caleb Tuck  06-27-1985 - Captain Baxter Canning
 09-01-1916 - Adjutant William Grandy  06-01-1989 - Captain & Mrs. Robert Froude
 06-30-1918 - Commandant Arthur Brown  07-03-1992 - 06-1998 - Captain & Mrs. Barry Gray
 08-18-1921 - Adjutant Nimshi Cole  08-01-1998 - 06-2000 - Captain & Mrs. Wayne Bungay
 08-15-1922 - Adjutant Arthur Keeping  07-01-1999 - 06-2002 - Lieut. Darlene Burt
 07-20-1924 - Commandant Gilbert Janes  08-01-2000 - 06-2005 - Major Betty Boyd
 08-15-1926 - Ensign Harold Elliott  07-01-2002 - 05-2005 - Captain Rhonda Smith
 11-24-1926 - Ensign Willis Rideout  06-30-2005 - 06-2009 - Majors Kathleen & Dinzel Baggs
 07-21-1927 - Adjutant Joseph Anthony  07-05-2009 -    Majors Beryl & Calvin Collins
 07-04-1929 - Commandant Isabel Burry  
 07-25-1930 - Ensign Levi Winsor  
   
   
   

Sometime in the early 1890’s the flame of Salvationism was first kindled in the community we now know as Botwood.  It all began when Commandant A.G. Brown, a Salvation Army officer, was led by the Holy Spirit to hold a Salvation meeting in one of the lumber camps in the forested area around Botwoodville (as it was known).  As a result of that first meeting, other meetings were held, and soon the fire of Salvationism began to grow rapidly.  Cottage meetings were held throughout the community, increasing in frequency and fervor as time went on.  As the number of followers and the enthusiasm at those Army meetings continued to grow, so did the desire to establish a Salvation Army Corps in the community.

The Barracks on Wentzell's RoadBy 1895 it was necessary to construct a “Barracks” in the Wentzell’s Road area.  The local Salvationists now had a building of their own; so, on March 1, 1895, The Salvation Army Botwood Corps was officially established.  Capt. Arch Baker was the first commanding officer, and he was assisted by Capt. William Snow.

In July 1895, a forest fire destroyed many homes and buildings in the community, including the newly built Salvation Army Citadel.  Soon a new citadel was constructed in the same general area.  This new building was not fully completed until 1908, under the Command of Capt. John Oake; the officer’s quarters on Wentzell’s Road were also constructed under his command.

In the early days of the Army in Botwood, there was usually quite a lot of activity; meetings were held every day of the week, except Saturday.  It was not unusual on Sunday to hold as many as six meetings, commencing with a “knee drill” at 7:00 am and continuing well into the night with the great salvation meeting.  Sunday School was held at 1:30 pm and while this was in session, an open air meeting was held somewhere in the community.

It is important to reflect on the contribution of the pioneer officers of the first quarter-century of our corps. Most of the 25 officers who spanned that period were probably young, since all but three of them were single.  Many of them were here for only a short term.

One highlight from the early 1930’s was the Easter Sunday Morning March.  This annual event commenced at 6:30 am and made its way around the community and concluded with an indoor meeting at the citadel.  It is sad that this great tradition of marching on Easter Sunday morning has all but died out in many areas in recent times.  The early morning march combined many of the fine traditions for which The Salvation Army is famous: stirring music and singing, open air worship, public witness, and genuine Christian exuberance.

Even in the late 1930’s the spirit of ecumenism was alive and well in Botwood.  This was demonstrated in September, 1937 during a visit by General Evangeline Booth’s international representative, Commissioner Langdon, accompanied by Colonel and Mrs. Tilley.  When they were here, a Great Salvation meeting, with a large public attendance, was held in the United Church.  This marked the first time in Botwood that the United Church was used to conduct an Army meeting.  Everyone present at the time seemed to appreciate the spirit of Christian co-operation that was evident.  Of course, many such ecumenical meetings have been held since then.

Major and Mrs. Hezekiah Pilgrim spent a total of seven years at our corps: 1945-1952.  During this time The Salvation Army in Botwood grew both spiritually and physically.  It became apparent to Major and Mrs. Pilgrim that a new citadel would have to be built.  First, a suitable site was found on Circular Road, and later a large H shaped military building was purchased from the Canadian Army for $1800.  Under the direction of retired Major Arthur Parsons and comrade Maxwell Hale, the building was dismantled in order to obtain the necessary building material for the proposed new citadel.  Construction of the new citadel commenced on November 2, 1948, under the direction of Chesley Moore (and later Maxwell Pope), assisted by Maxwell Hale.  The citadel was completed in time for the official opening on December 4, 1949.

Throughout the 1950’s our corps continued to grow as successive officers built on the strong foundation already in place.
  All divisions of the corps were active and the Army’s presence was felt strongly throughout the community.

During the 1960’s our corps continued to grow so that by the mid 1960’s there were over 1000 people on its rolls and Salvation Army property in Botwood was valued at half a million dollars.

The 1970’s were good years for the Botwood Corps.  Spiritually, the corps was enriched by the addition of new converts and new soldiers.  All sections of the corps seemed dedicated to growth and development of the whole corps family.  It was decided that a new quarters was needed.  Plans were made, and by 1973 a modern quarters was constructed on King’s Road by John Jacobs and Sons of Botwood.
New citadel on Church Road
Toward the end of the 1970’s, it was decided that the time had come to build a new citadel. A building committee was
set up and construction commenced in May 1979, and by January 1980 it was completed at a cost of approximately $400,000.  Contractors were A.C. Hunt Ltd. and Carter’s Electrical; David Langdon installed the plumbing free of cost; Calvin Hale was construction foreman. 

The new citadel, the fourth in the history of the Botwood Corps, was officially opened on January 13, 1980.  The opening and dedication ceremonies were conducted by Colonel and Mrs. Edward Read, Field Secretary, supported by Colonel and Mrs. Clyde Moore, Divisional Commander.  Civic greetings were delivered by Dr. Hugh Twomey, M.H.A. and Mayor Elmer Bursey of Botwood.

In January 1982 our corps made a significant step forward when a complete new set of band instruments was purchased
at a cost of approximately $32,000.

During the latter half of the 1980’s and into the 1990’s our corps has remained strong and vibrant.  There have been minor changes in the structure of some sections of the corps to accommodate the changing times; otherwise, tradition has remained strong.  The overall objective of promoting the Lord’s work through The Salvation Army has not changed; all of the activities of our corps are directed toward achieving the ideals set forth in Holy Scripture and Salvation Army doctrine.

From the very beginning, children have been a vital part of our corps, and a wide range of activities for them has always been available.  This is so important, since the children are the future Army, and their training is essential for our continued growth.  The young people’s leaders are to be commended for their ongoing commitment to the training of our youth.

From earliest times, the Home League has been a tower of strength in our corps.  It is not exactly clear when the first official Home League was formed; however, it is clear that from the very beginning the ladies played a vital role in the maintenance and growth of our corps.  The contribution made by the ladies through the Home league and other sections of the corps is quite remarkable, and the tradition of outstanding service and commitment continues among our ladies today.  The name has been changed to Women’s Ministries.

It was early in 1958 that plans were made to organize the first Salvation Army Men’s Service Club in the Botwood Corps.  By February, a club was in operation and the first dinner meeting was held on February 6, 1958.  The Men’s Service Club
has provided valuable service to our corps over the years and this tradition of service continues today. The name has been changed to The Salvation Army Men’s Fellowship.

Bands have always been an integral part of The Salvation Army.  Early in the 1900’s, the first Band was started in Botwood when Major Brewer of Grand Falls came here to train a group of aspiring musicians.  Instruments used by the first Band were purchased from the Loyal Orange Lodge in Botwood.  William Thompson was the first Bandmaster.  In the early 1930’s Roland Rose assumed duties as Bandmaster of our corps for a short term followed by Bramwell Thompson.  Years later, his son, Keith Thompson, served as Bandmaster for several years; thus, three generations of the Thompson family served for many years and made a very worthwhile contribution to our corps through leadership in music.  

The League of Mercy (now called the Community Care Ministries) has been active in our corps for many years and has given exemplary service both in our corps and in the community at large.  The Salvation Army is synonymous with caring and sharing, and the Community Care Ministries is in the forefront in this regard.  Since its formation in 1953, with Maxwell Hale as its first Secretary, numerous people have served with the Community Care Ministries.  Some of the earliest members are still active in our corps.

For over 100 years our corps has maintained a powerful influence on the minds and souls of its members.  We must not only look back at the accomplishments of the past, but we must look boldly to the future!