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Mar4MonMajor Annette Vardy recognized at officers' retreat. March 4, 2019 by Kristin Ostensen
Photo (above): Mjr Annette Vardy receives the Order of the Founder. From left, Colonel Edward Hill; Colonel Shelley Hill, territorial secretary for women’s ministries; Mjr Vardy; Lt-Col Genevera Vincent, DDWM, N.L. Div; and Lt-Col Eddie Vincent, DC, N.L. Div
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- Territorial News
The Salvation Army world celebrated in February as a new member was welcomed to the Order of the Founder. At the age of 101, Canadian officer Major Annette Vardy received the award from Colonel Edward Hill, chief secretary, during an officers’ retreat in the Newfoundland and Labrador Division, where Major Vardy attends Mount Pearl Corps.
Major Vardy was born in Clarenville, N.L., in 1918, and was determined from an early age to become a Salvation Army missionary officer. She was enrolled as a senior soldier at the age of 18 and entered training college in 1945. She was commissioned as a member of the Challengers Session in 1946 and served in corps, social services and health care appointments until 1958, when Major Vardy was transferred to India. For the next 25 years, she served as a nurse in The Salvation Army’s hospitals there. She had the privilege of sharing patients with Mother Teresa, often doing much the same work, though they never had the opportunity to meet. Following her retirement, Major Vardy returned to India and gave an additional five years of service as a retired officer.
While serving in India, Major Vardy unofficially adopted a girl, Leela, whom she cared for from infancy. The baby’s mother died in childbirth and the father was struck and killed leaving the hospital. Today, Leela and her husband serve as Salvation Army officers in India.
“Major Vardy has demonstrated the boundless love of God through her unwavering passion for mission over the years,” says Major Rene Loveless, divisional secretary for public relations and development, Newfoundland and Labrador Division. “Through her life and witness and work, Major Vardy has clearly embodied and exemplified the values of The Salvation Army.
“Now having reached 101 years of age, her service is still touching the lives of all who encounter her inspirational stories, encouraging words, keen sense of humour and gracious spirit,” Major Loveless concludes.