Newly appointed Salvation Army majors Peter and Royalene Maynard are welcomed to the Gympie community.
Newly appointed Salvation Army majors Peter and Royalene Maynard are welcomed to the Gympie community. Craig Warhurst

Majors Maynard in command

THE Salvation Army of Gympie has new leadership.

For the first time since Kevin Holland was reassigned to a new district in 2003, there are new majors hoping to help more people and finish setting up the Family Store.

Meet the majors Peter and Royalene Maynard.

When the Salvation Army assigned the majors to Gympie, it was because the Army decided they were required, based on the needs of the community.

And Gympie’s Salvation Army community is very happy with the choice. The Maynards are ordained ministers of religion and bring maturity and a wealth of experience to the fold.

A carpenter by trade, Peter “found the Lord” in 1973 after having migrated from England three years earlier.

He had been travelling around Australia “having fun and seeing the countryside” when, down on his luck, he connected with the Salvation Army.

Royalene, on the other hand, was born into the religion. Her parents were captains in the Salvation Army Corps community of Tamworth where she grew up, enjoying the stability of a good upbringing in the country.

The differences in Peter’s and Royalene’s backgrounds are what make them such a formidable team.

“I was a welfare case,” Peter said.

“I ran out of money and the Salvation Army in Mount Isa put me up and got me a job the next day.

“There were many times when I tried to leave, but my car would break down before I got very far.

“(I saw it as) a pull to do the right thing so I offered my services to the Army as a carpenter and went off to the New Guinea mission fields to fix up the buildings and that’s where I met my wife.”

Royalene was the overseer of post and telegraphs at the time and when the couple returned to Australia they married in Wollongong, giving their full-time service to the Salvation Army.

Their first appointment was in Temora before they spent six years in Glen Innes and then another six-year stint in Raymond Terrace.

After that, they headed over the border from New South Wales to Inala in Brisbane’s south west where they remained for five years before coming to Gympie.

“We feel like we’ve come back to the country,” Royalene told The Gympie Times.

“We like the people better – they are friendlier and we feel very welcome here.”

“It’s a beautiful place,” Peter added.

“(And) we have a good bunch of people here who run everything.”

When The Gympie Times spoke to the down-to-earth pair last week, they were looking forward to talking to the congregation and establishing goals for the Salvation Army community.

“We’re here to make sure everything keeps running smoothly,” Royalene said.

“One of our priorities is to get the Family Store up and running (and) we are very interested in talking to people who come through our welfare section.

“People think we’re are a charity only, but this is a place of worship,” she said of the corps on Stumm Road, Southside.

“If people want to be a part of our ministry they need to accept our beliefs. However, we’re not focused on our congregation exclusively ... we’re always looking for ways to serve the community.”

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