In response to a request from the Western Territory, Colonel Henry Gariepy (R) has completed a manuscript to be published early in 1998 on The Salvation Army’s 100 years in Alaska. The work chronicles the colorful pioneer days during the Gold Rush, the ongoing development among Native Alaskans, and the extension of its ministries up to the present time.
As part of his research, Gariepy recently did an extended tour of some of the historic villages of Southeast Alaska to interview those who knew, or are descendants of, the early Salvationists. “Visits with native Alaskans,” says the Colonel, “helped breathe life into the pages and opened new windows of insight and information. The Salvation Army’s heroic evangelism in this Last Frontier is one of the most captivating and inspiring sagas of Army history.”
Accompanying the Colonel, and coordinating his visit, was Major Dorothy Rivitt (R), whose intimate knowledge of Alaska and its people was gained from having served there for all but seven of her 36 years of officership. Major Harold Brodin, divisional commander for Alaska, also shared in part of the visits.
“It is our hope,” says Brodin, “to preserve our heritage, and that from this historical perspective, replete with its stirring visual images, will emerge a springboard to seize the great opportunities for the future of our ministry in the Great Land.”
The Western Territory Museum, directed by Frances Dingman, has been one of the principal sources of archival data and photos for the book.