Salvation Army officials at headquarters in Canada, local officials and the Ministries of Education and Social Development are tight lipped today, in the wake of another Bermuda Real exclusive on the executive of the local organisation.
Meetings were due to be held at Dellwood Middle School and the Army’s Executive Director today, to discuss plans by the Army to move the Family Services arm of their organisation to the Army’s main church in a designated school zone area.
Here’s the issue – the Family Services branch, currently on King Street, runs a community service that services families in need with groceries, and the homeless, including drug addicts, who come for both food and clothing.
When contacted by Bermuda Real, the Dellwood’s Principal, Tina Duke, directed us to the Ministry of Education.
When contacted again, prior to publication, Ms Duke said she was due to meet with the Army’s Executive Director Beverley Daniels today. She also stated that Ms Daniels said the information relayed to the Army’s headquarters by Bermuda Real is not true.
Ms Duke then asked if we would hold off on the story until after the meeting. Our response – Ms Daniels may claim that our information is not accurate, and that’s her right. But until we hear otherwise from her superiors in Canada, we stand by our research and the subsequent report.
The fact of the matter at this point in time is simply this – no one from the Salvation Army in Bermuda has said anything, and the silence on the part of Government speaks volumes.
In any case, here is the formal request for an official response to our queries, regarding the redundancy of the Army’s former Family Services Manager Lynn Gordon, with no clear plan in place to provide the much needed community service, particularly at Christmas time, which the Army has become known for.
This is the formal request sent to John McAlister, the head of Public Relations at the Army’s headquarters in Canada on June 11, 2018 and copied to the DCI representatives for both the Minister of Education Diallo Rabain and Minister of Social Development, Michael Weeks, for an official response. As noted to date, there has been no response:
Dear Mr McAlister:
Re: SA Bermuda – Family Services Manager Made Redundant by Local Executive Without a Plan
I am writing you for an official response to the article captioned above by BermudaReal.com on April 17, 2018..
In follow up to this report, please be advised that Bermuda Real plans to publish another article this week on the fact that your executive in Bermuda, has decided to follow through with plans to move SA’s Family Services to the Army’s headquarters next to a Middle School, in a designated school zone area.
We have secured strong objections by Dellwood Middle School’s PTA, who have expressed outrage.
The school already has a problem with vagrants and other non-desireables who present ongoing problems amidst young children.
Most notably they are questioning the fact that Ms B Daniels, the Army’s Executive Director, who is a former school principle could make such an assinine decision – ie: to move a service that services the homeless INCLUDING drug addicts to a school zone area.
Additionally, please note that we will have an official comment on this issue from the Minister and or Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Development.
Essentially, this plan is not going to fly and I can assure you the fallout will not be a good look for the Salvation Army, or its current executive, headed up by an outgoing head, who is leaving this post and a long standing leading community service in a mess – a mess that ultimately will affect the people who need this service most at Christmas time, the biggest annual service provided by the Army in Bermuda.
The follow up questions are obvious. To be clear, the main question remains – what’s the plan?
For the record, would you kindly confirm receipt of this email, the request for an official comment therein, with an indication of the time line as to whether or not, and/or when you will in fact respond.
Specifically my questions are:
1. Was the army aware of this redundancy of a Manager with no plan in place and the fact that Mrs. B. Daniels, the Army’s Executive Director, who is a former school principal could be part of a decision such as this? Being a Bermudian, she should know the rules and lead accordingly, in order to avoid a situation such as this.
2. Moving the food bank with at risk clients to a school zone – essentially, this plan will not work and the fall out etc. Did headquarters approve this?
3. Moving food bank and at risk clients into a building that houses a nursery – did headquarters approve this?
4. Clients will have to park on school grounds – does the Army have permission for this because it is our understanding that the school is opposed to this plan period. In light of this, what is THQ’s position?
5. The program that feeds at risk clients in the North Street building is done after hours, due to the fact that the nursery is upstairs and Dellwood Middle School is directly across the street – do you not have any concerns?
6. Are you even aware of the local executive’s plan?
7. The outside play area for the nursery is right outside the door on the street – Ms Daniels being a former school principal should know that this would become a issue in the community, is the SA Bermuda Executive seriously going to pursue this plan?
8. It seems that there was a rush to judgment that wasn’t strategically thought out, or at the very least, it points up the inexperience of the Army’s decision-making team in Bermuda, what is your position on this?
9. The Christmas Program is the biggest event that the SA hosts annually, what’s the plan for Christmas 2018?
10. Does the SA mission need to be revised for the most needed programme for the community of Bermuda?
I look forward to and await your response. And as stated to date, there has been no response.
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