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Salvation Army's 125 reasons to party

PUBLISHED: 13:05 08 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:27 06 July 2010

FRIENDSHIPS were renewed and memories exchanged at a special birthday party in Lowestoft.

For the Salvation Army celebrated its 125th anniversary at the town's Citadel, in Battery Green Road, and the theme of the occasion was prominent throughout.

FRIENDSHIPS were renewed and memories exchanged at a special birthday party in Lowestoft.

For the Salvation Army celebrated its 125th anniversary at the town's Citadel, in Battery Green Road, and the theme of the occasion was prominent throughout.

Invitations were sent out for 125 guests to attend the event on Tuesday … the 125th day of the year … and 125 photos and press cuttings were displayed round the building.

There were speeches by the Mayor of Lowestoft Frank Mortimer, leader of the Citadel corps Major Barry Willson, and Journal editor Russell Cook - all just 125 words long.

The citadel band, conducted by Clifford Savory, played, and Lindsey Johnson and Jayne Frost from the Norwich citadel also entertained.

“It was a wonderful occasion and I thought that the atmosphere was really great,” said Maj Willson.

“A third of the people attending were members of the citadel but the rest may not have known each other so there was a really good mix.”

Representatives of other denominations from all over the town attended including the citadel's sister corps in South Lowestoft.

And some even travelled from afar with the furthest journey being made by former Lowestoft couple Graham and Julie House, who are now majors of the corps in Boston, Lincolnshire.

They had driven just over 100 miles but by the time they had travelled round the town they had probably clocked up 125 before they left for home.

For one member of the corps it was a rather poignant anniversary for 82-year-old Myrtle Porter, who lives near the citadel, has been attached to the corps all of her life.

“My parents bought me here when I was just a small child and I've been ever since. I've tried to live a good Christian life and tonight is a wonderful occasion,” she said.

Those attended mixed and swapped stories of their time or links with the citadel and the display of photographs and other images will be on show for the rest of the month on Tuesdays from 10am to noon and on Saturdays from 9.30am to 11.30am.

The main anniversary weekend is in June and those who are keen to attend should register their interest.

Former members of the Lowestoft Citadel Songster Brigade are being encouraged to get in contact if they would like to take part in the songster reunion with rehearsals taking place on the afternoon of Saturday, June 6.

Contact Maj Willson on 01502 568867 or email barry.willson@salvationarmy.org.uk

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