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Monday, 22 September 2014
Page: 10067

Mr NEUMANN (Blair) (10:42): I wish to acknowledge the long and devoted service of Majors Rod and Denice Strong, who have now retired from the Salvation Army, and the particular contribution they have made to our country, to our state and also in Blair. They were both born on the Sunshine Coast, Rod in Wondaiand Denice in Nambour. After school, Rod became an electrician and Denice a shop assistant. They met and married in 1971 and entered the Salvation Army training college in Nambour after feeling the call of God to the vocation of ministry.

After college they were appointed to the Moree Corps and then also to Armidale. Rod worked in the Salvation Army public relations department in Sydney. During that time he became involved in Red Shield Defence. After Sydney he was appointed to Orange and then Mount Gravatt. During his four years at Mount Gravatt, Rod served as the southern area director for Brisbane Salvation Army Emergency Services. They successfully worked together in the Nundah, Sandgate and Zillmere corps to form the North Brisbane Corps. During four years there, Rod served as the northern area director of the Salvation Army Emergency Services and spent four more years in public relations in Brisbane. Denice served as secretary for the divisional League of Mercy.

To the great benefit of the people of Ipswich, the Strongs arrived in Ipswich thereafter. They spent six years at the Bundamba Corps, also running the Blackbutt Salvation Army as an outpost for three years. They then crossed the Tasman to New Zealand and were appointed to Christchurch City Corps in Hope Centre, in Christchurch.

On their return to Australia, Rod was appointed chaplain for Employment Plus, with responsibility for an area stretching from Rockhampton to Newcastle. For six years Denice served as aged-care chaplain at Riverview Gardens in Ipswich.

Since 2008, Rod and Denice have served as chaplains with 3RAR, based at Coorparoo, caring for veterans from the Vietnam and Korea wars. Denice has served as chaplain in the Redbank RSL sub-branch since 1997. In 2011, Rod was appointed senior chaplain to the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service. Denice, the following year, was appointed family support chaplain to assist Rod with his work.

This theme runs for 42 years of selfless service to the community and to their God. They have been a source of comfort for countless people. They have assisted people through floods and in crises man made and natural. They have helped through fire and disaster. They have touched the lives of vulnerable people. They are there at the Bundamba Salvation Army Anzac Day service every year, and Rod's work with Rotary in Ipswich is exemplary. He was the president of the Rotary Club of Ipswich. He handed on that responsibility to his son, Brad, who followed him into the ministry of the Salvation Army. On behalf of the people of Blair, I extend my heartfelt thanks to wonderful individuals, Rod and Denice, for their enduring service to their God and their community and wish them the best for their futures.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Whiteley ): I thank the honourable member, and thank God for the Salvos.