The Christian Mission began in 1865 when William Booth, a London minister, gave up the comfort of his pulpit and decided to take his message into the streets where it would reach the poor, the homeless, the hungry and the destitute. In May 1878, Booth summoned his son, Bramwell, and his good friend George Railton to read a proof of the Mission’s annual report. At the top it read: THE CHRISTIAN MISSION is A VOLUNTEER ARMY.
Bramwell strongly objected to this wording. He was not a volunteer: he was compelled to do God’s work. So, in a flash of inspiration, Booth crossed out ‘Volunteer’ and wrote ‘Salvation’. The Salvation Army was born. Two stamp issues commemorate the SA name; the Monaco & Jamaica 1978 issues [Source: Our History].
On Rotoroa Island east of Aucland city, the Salvation Army ran a treatment center for alcoholics during the 20th century. A small post office was even located there, run by the SA. At the time of the centenary stamp issue in 1983, a very limited edition of local FDCs were issued with a picture of the location, i.e., this cover is extremely rare.
Unlisted & RARE Salvation Army FDC from Switzerland 1958. Italian postmark; “Berna”. Only 10% of the Swiss FDCs in the 50ties had Italian PM. In addition, this cover was issued in a very limited edition, probably no more than 20 were issued with this cachet and PM. Cat value CHF 120, estimated CHF 150+.
This rare Salvation Army FDC is seldom seen on online auctions, although quite a few must have been issued. It is a most wanted item in many Salvation Army FDC collections. The FDC was issued on St. Kitts-Nevis (St. Christopher Island) related to the International Women’s Year 1975. The 4c stamp depicts General Evangeline Booth, the first female general of the Salvation Army.