HELPING MATES: Rupert McCall launched the Salvo's Red Shield Appeal at Yaralla on Friday night.
HELPING MATES: Rupert McCall launched the Salvo's Red Shield Appeal at Yaralla on Friday night. Greg Bray

Poet Rupert McCall digs deep for the Salvos

WHEN poet Rupert McCall was 23 he reached a crossroads in his life.

"Society said you should go one way but I chose another," he said.

"25 years ago I decided to turn left instead of right and took the road less travelled.

"It's been a bumpy ride at times but it's taken me to so many wonderful places."

McCall turned his back on a career in law and decided to become a poet.

"Telling my parents, who had paid to put me through university was hard, they were less than thrilled," he said.

"But I knew deep in my heart that the best contribution I could make to society was to follow in the footsteps of my boyhood hero Banjo Paterson, telling my stories and sharing my poetry."

On Friday night at the launch of the Salvation Army's Red Shield Appeal, McCall shared a story from his family's past.

My grandfather Barney McCall was a Rat of Tobruk and his brother Dick is still in Tobruk.

"They were there to help him through some tough times during the war and after it.

"When granddad said, 'Thank God for the Salvos,' you know he meant it from the heart."

The audience was moved by the personal testimonies of others whose lives had been touched by hardship and how grateful they were for the help they'd received from Salvo's.

"We live in a great country, where everything and anything is possible," McCall said. 

"We keep our family close and we look after our mates.

"That's why we're here this evening."

He concluded the evening with a recital of his famous poem Green and Gold Malaria.

Visit the Salvo's website to learn more about the work they do in our community.



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