Salvation Army and Hanover Street School celebrate 140 years in Aberdeen’s Citadel


On Saturday evening, 29th February 2020, on exactly the 140th anniversary of the Salvation Army Citadel Corps, our House Captains had a very important appointment.

We had been invited to join in with the celebrations by our school chaplains, Lt Helen Froud and Major Gilly Hoitinga.

We were to meet General Brian Peddle  – the World Leader of the Salvation Army!  He is the 21st General of The Salvation Army, responsible for movement’s ministry in 131 countries worldwide. He took office on 3 August 2018.  We also met his wife, Commissioner Rosalie Peddle.


Our House Captains were very nervous. But they soon found that General Peddle and Commissioner Peddle were lovely warm people, who made us feel very much at ease when asking our questions.  He said that he can find children a little scary at times (Miss Forbes agreed!). It gave us all a big chuckle and we relaxed nicely into the meeting.

We found out:

  • They are from Canada, but are now based in London for their current roles.  They travel all around the world!
  • After this current role, they will happily retire!
  • General Peddle had a “calling” to join the Army when he was 19. He has been a part of it ever since!  Commissioner Rosalie kindly reminded him he had been in the Army for a little longer than they had been married.
  • He enjoys going round the world, seeing the positive difference the organisation are making, particularly within areas of poverty.
  • He showed us videos from Malawi and photos from other places in our world.
  • He told us that the Salvation Army has different uniforms around the world – for example in Singapore, it is white, to help the people keep cool.
  • He was surprised when we told him where we were all from – Aberdeen, Ireland, Poland, Romania and Turkmenistan.
  • They are grandparents.
  • They kindly gave us some posters of their work around the world, as well as a book, hot off the press, sharing more information.
  • They have a personal assistant called David – he is from Port Glasgow in Scotland.  He helps with appointments, meetings, arrangements and technology!

It was a true delight to meet these people.

Mr Markey and Miss Forbes attended the celebration service after our meeting.  It was thoroughly enjoyable – they learned more about the work that the Citadel does including charity shop work, alcohol and drug support and many others.  Lord Provost Barney Crockett (a former Hanover Street School pupil!) and his wife were there also.

Thank you Lt Helen and Major Gilly for all that you do for our school and its community. You help us a great deal.

And a big well done to our House Captains who represented the school so well. We’re proud of you!

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Salvation Army celebrates 140 years in Aberdeen’s Citadel