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Aug21WedCorner Brook, N.L., resident Donald Locke gets a surprising--and uplifting visit--from the Fairview Citadel Band August 21, 2013 by Kristin Fryer
“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.
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- Territorial News
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.
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.”