Francis provides impressions of the West

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“Our initial meetings with the territorial leaders and cabinet provided a strong optimism for the future of this great territory. I believe that the ‘best of times’ for the Western Territory are ahead—and not too far away, either.”

So stated Commissioner William Francis, international secretary for the Americas and Caribbean, when New Frontier interviewed him and his wife, Commissioner Marilyn Francis, during the territory’s triennial review.

“I had originally suggested to Commissioner Philip Swyers that the review be postponed due to his recent appointment as territorial commander,” Francis said, “but he assured me that both he and the territory would be prepared for the review. I’m pleased to discover he was absolutely right.

“He has quickly come to hear and understand both the heartbeat and the reality of the territory. The breadth and depth of his insight concerning significant issues facing the territory gained over such a short period of time is truly remarkable.”

When New Frontier inquired as to additional indicators for his optimism, Francis commented on the strength of the territory’s foundation. “So many gains were made under the leadership of Commissioner Linda Bond, who was able to develop a strong sense of purpose to which the entire territory was committed. It seems to me that that purpose combined the best and essential aspects of what the Army is, as well as a courageous and far-reaching look at how the territory must develop it in the future.

“Additionally,” Francis continued, “the Western Territory has weathered some major recent storms, and while the recovery process is as yet unfinished, there certainly hasn’t been any collapse—the people are stronger.”

Marilyn Francis quickly added: “That storm was a major tsunami—wave after wave crashing through, but the Army kept marching forward—keeping the mission first without missing a beat.”

“And with the Luttrells,” Francis continued, “even though they were here for a relatively short time, the spirit of the territory quickened and became stronger. They and all of the leadership who worked with them are to be highly commended for their dedication and commitment. This ‘can-do’ Western culture is amazing.”
When asked about the Army’s very quiet media reporting of the Army’s usual immediate response to the great tsunami disaster in South East Asia, Francis stated that there are both internal forms of communication—primarily through the International website—and external media. In an age of instant communication, he said, there is a high expectation of instant and widespread reporting. At the same time, Army personnel are more focused on meeting the needs of people as opposed to the needs of the media. He stated that we had a clear picture of events within hours at IHQ. That information had been transmitted by the Internet and available on the web. Specific information described what the Army was doing on a daily basis. “I admit that we need to find better ways to communicate these facts more effectively to the external media, while at the same time keeping our primary focus on serving the needs of people.

“Last Friday, an all-day meeting was held at IHQ, chaired by the chief of the staff, and attended by the territorial leaders of the six territories affected, along with the international secretaries and emergency disaster staff. Representatives of funding territories were also present. The goal of this historic meeting was to shape the nature of our response in South Asia and determine exactly what we can and must do to sustain the recovery effort and then move into the rehabilitation stage. This emergency summit meeting brought together some of the best international talent the Army has available for this historic disaster.”

Army plans long range commitment

Army plans long range commitment

CAPTAIN TED HORWOOD (center), The Salvation Army international emergency relief

A ‘Rock’ of hope on Oahu

A ‘Rock’ of hope on Oahu

THE ROCK, an outreach on the beach on the Leeward Coast of O’ahu, Hawaii,

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