A Lasting Testament
Hearing from her father about how The Salvation Army helped soldiers in the First World War sparked a lifelong connection for Heather Forrs, which has led her to leave a gift in her will.
At age 19, Heather’s father enlisted to fight for king and country in the First World War. Because of his ability with horses, he joined the cavalry’s first battalion. But the cavalry ran into problems in Gibraltar, and he was moved on to France where he became a signaller, getting messages from the frontline to pass to head office.
During this period, he found himself stuck in a shell hole for several days with no food or water. Eventually he was able to make his way back to his position. Once there, he was demoted for having abandoned his post. However, after someone realised the truth of the matter, he was awarded a Victorian military medal.
Back in Australia, he married and became a father, always making things for his two daughters. He didn’t talk about the war much, but Heather very clearly remembers these words of his:
‘If you ever have anything to give, give it to the Salvos. They were always just behind the lines with a hot cup of tea, a piece of fruitcake and a dry pair of socks.’
Even though the socks didn’t stay dry for long, he never forgot the support the soldiers received from The Salvation Army. Her father’s memory and gratitude formed Heather’s desire to get involved and to support The Salvation Army.
Heather’s volunteering began with one of our early programmes which helped young mothers. Her empathy was with young girls who became pregnant while in high school. That interest in young mothers and their babies is still very strong for Heather today. The original project has now been replaced with the SPACE programme, a parent and child education programme for first-time caregivers and their babies.
Heather is also a member of the Salvation Army Church in Dunedin, which she describes as ‘marvellously friendly, welcoming and uplifting’.
‘I’ve found my happy place at the age of 93,’ Heather says. ‘I have cancer, and who knows how long I’ll last, but I have The Salvation Army listed in my will.’
By leaving a bequest to The Salvation Army, Heather’s desire to make positive differences in people’s lives will go on beyond her own lifetime.
A bequest is a visionary gift to the future which upholds the values and ideals of the bequestor and is a living memorial to his or her life. For more information call 0800 530 000, or visit salvationarmy.org.nz/wills