Alison Walter

Retired Salvation Army Commissioner, Missionary and teacher

Soon after Alison (née Harewood) finished her studies at Camberwell High School, her parents were transferred by The Salvation Army to Toronto, Canada, and it was there that Alison met her Canadian husband, Stan Walter. They lived in Calgary, Alberta, for a year before training as Salvation Army officers (pastors/ministers).

Alison and Stan served in a church for three years and then took up missionary service in 1959 at a boarding school in Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia). With two small children in tow, they travelled by boat to Capetown, South Africa, and by train inland to Harare, Zimbabwe. Their third child was born while we were teaching on a mission station. The school, Mazowe Secondary School, is still one of the leading boarding schools of the country, preparing students for university.

In 1964, Alison and Stan were transferred to another boys’ boarding school in Kenya, on the border with Uganda. This was a newer school and Stan, as Headmaster, did a lot of pioneering work there. At that time, Kenya had recently become independent and it was an interesting contrast to the white government of Zimbabwe. Following these six years in Africa, Alison and Stan returned to church work in Canada, which included several years on the staff of The Salvation Army’s Training College (seminary) as well as youth work and administration.

Head Prefect and Dux of Camberwell High School, 1948

In 1978, Alison and her husband were asked to return to Nairobi, Kenya. Leaving their children in university in Canada, they returned to Africa to give leadership to the church in Kenya, which has the largest membership in the Salvation Army world. After four years there, they returned to Canada to take up church leadership positions.

In 1986, however, the pair returned to Africa – this time to South Africa at a very crucial time in their political history. Ignoring the limitations of apartheid, they sought to care for, and help, all races. They were living in Kenya when its beloved leader, Jomo Kenyatta died, and we were in South Africa when Nelson Mandela was released from imprisonment. To conclude their years of active service, Alison and Stan were sent to London, England, in charge of the Africa Desk at the Salvation Army’s International Headquarters. This appointment necessitated visiting the many countries in Africa where The Salvation Army works with churches, schools, hospitals, clinics, etc.

Alison and Stan still keep active in retirement in Toronto, Canada. Stan does the accounting at some of the Salvation Army’s homeless shelters and Alison enjoy helping with grandchildren.

(This autobiography was supplied by Alison’s niece.)

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