Estevan’s Salvation Army officers have announced they are retiring.
Majors Wilfred and Heather Harbin will wrap up their careers with the Salvation Army on June 30. Heather Harbin has been with the Salvation Army for 43 years, while Wilf has been involved for 40.
They have been in Estevan since 2015, and are also currently serving as the Salvation Army officers for Weyburn.
“This particular work, it’s more of a calling than anything. We feel that it’s the right time now just to retire, and the Salvation Army concurred that after 40 years, it’s time to move on, and let the younger group move in,” said Wilf.
They haven’t decided on where they will retire. They are mulling multiple options, including Saskatoon and Ontario.
Harbin said he and his wife have always enjoyed meeting people, and being able to help them out. That’s been a big part of why they enjoyed being in Estevan.
“We also have our church services, and we have our food banks. We have our family services in both locations, both here and in Weyburn,” he said.
Despite coming to the southeast region in an economic downturn that started in the second half of 2014, the communities have been very generous to the Salvation Army.
“The overwhelming response that we get has been tremendous,” he said. “Absolutely tremendous. We’re glad to be part of it for the past four years.”
It has meant an increase in the number of people who have been accessing the food bank’s services, and it creates a strain on the reserves.
“I’ve been to several different communities over my ministry, in P.E.I., Bermuda, Ontario. I’ve been in the addictions programs for seven years in Edmonton, administering the addictions program. But I like this work the best, where you come down, you’re able to see the people and meet the people here. That’s what I like the best.”
An announcement has not been made on who the new officers will be for Estevan. Harbin said the Salvation Army will continue in Estevan, and they have a good staff at the local building who provide good leadership for the community.