The Inheritance of Fellowship

(Celebrating 75 Years of the South London Retired Officers’ Fellowship)
The Maple Road table buzzes with conversation
As colonel meets major, composer finds doctor
And stories emerge, experiences shared.
Social officers, corps officers and those from headquarters
Laugh between courses and the clink of cutlery
As the retireds discover they’re far from cast-offs;
They’re no mere have-beens sent out to graze.
Hearing-aids and walking sticks don’t disqualify
Those who’ve found the things that endure
In the sacred space of the officer covenant.
They join in celebration of past and present
Bonds of commitment to love and serve
The one some say should also have retired by now,
But who joins the table even though it’s not Emmaus.
May 2012

The South London Retired Officers’ Fellowship was founded in 1937 at the Salvation Army corps on Maple Road, Penge. This followed a conversation between Colonels Frederick Hawkes, Thomas Lewis and Percy Turner  –  Hawkes, the composer, Turner the doctor.

Click here for photographs of the fellowship celebration in November 2012