“It was the most uplifting thing that had happened to me for a long time,” says Donald Locke, a retired bandsman living in Corner Brook, N.L.

In May, Locke received a special visit at his home from the Fairview Citadel Band, who were in town playing at Corner Brook Temple. Two weeks prior to the visit, Locke had undergone surgery for cancer and had not yet been able to leave the house or attend their concert.

Donald Locke shares his thanks with Fairview Citadel CSM Jerry Porter Donald Locke shares his thanks with Fairview Citadel CSM Jerry Porter

When Locke heard the band's bus pull up, he went to the window and couldn't believe his eyes. “I was not expecting it,” he says. “My spirits were down, but this was a wonderful thing.”

Led by Bandmaster Keith Haggett, the 19-member band, along with Corner Brook Bandmaster Darren Hancock, set up in Locke's driveway and played classic Army hymns such as I Know Thee Who Thou Art and I'm in His Hands. The band closed with O Boundless Salvation, followed by a prayer.

“After the prayer, I went up to shake Mr. Locke's hand and he said to me, “Bandmaster, I'm not sure why you were called to Newfoundland this weekend, but you have done a world of good here today,' ” recalls Haggett. “I couldn't speak; I could only smile.

“It was moving for everyone,” he adds. “Many members of the band have said that this time with Mr. Locke was the highlight of the trip.”

“This is the real essence of Salvation Army banding,” says Locke, who was a bandsman for 60 years. “We go to band practice and play in the church—and that's good. But the real essence of Salvation Army banding is showing you care.”


On Friday, September 6, 2013, Ralph & Greta Pilgrim (Majors) said:

Hi Keith and Fairview Band,
It was wonderful to see you folks out praising the Lord by band music. We remember the God filling
and God uplifting music by the band in our services' even when I was the C.S.M. AH!! Good to see all your faces again in the Salvationist. May the Lord bless you in the future. Prays, Ralph & Greta

On Friday, August 23, 2013, Ron Yetman said:

Experiences sharing the S A banding tradition, such as this, make all the hard work more than worthwhile. Surely unforgettable for all concerned.

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