The Salvation Army and the citizens of Williams Lake and area will miss Captain Randy Kadonaga and his wife Claudine.
The well-liked captains are going into semi-retirement and the new replacement will be in town January.
Since their arrival in Williams Lake in July 2008 both Randy and Claudine have worked tirelessly to help those who need it and to keep the Salvation Army Ministry strong in Williams Lake and area.
Captain Randy states he would like to have stayed a little longer in his job but health concerns are playing a role in his decision to leave in the new year.
The good news is the couple are going into a semi-retirement program and live in Likely, so we will probably see them around Williams Lake from time to time.
I asked him what his favourite memory was of his time as Salvation Army Captain in Williams Lake.
He quickly said that it was the generosity of the community that overwhelmed him — it is how the people here care for the less fortunate and this is how I think of Williams Lake.
Captain Randy says the heart of the Salvation Army, is to serve others and they certainly do that in the number of programs they operate in this community.
They have a ‘soup kitchen’ that offers much more than soup to those needing a meal.
There is a drop-in centre with pool table, games and a TV, and of course there is the thrift store.
The Salvation Army runs an addiction centre as well as having a food bank, and holding a special dinner on Christmas Day.
Captain Kadonaga says to help others is to be Christ-like and his personal goal is to help people as much as he can.
“I want to help spiritually because there is more to life that filling a stomach and having a roof overhead,” he says.
The Salvation Army in Williams Lake has about 49 regular faithful monthly volunteers along with many other volunteers as needed and Captain Randy says he could not get along without them.
He also said that there is a good fellowship of officers within The Salvation Army.
The affable captain was a member of the Williams Lake Rotary Club and members enjoyed his sense of humour.
Captain Kadonaga says: “Thank you to Williams Lake for the support shown to Captains Randy and Claudine who wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way.
The Lord be with all of you. 2 Thessalonians 3:16.”
Randy and Claudine, you will be missed in Williams Lake. Thanks to both of you for making our community a better place!
I sincerely wish that all of you will have a good Christmas with lots of love and joy. May peace be with you.
Ken Wilson is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Advisor.