Sister Jean Belshaw
Salvation Army Woman' passes away
AN 84-YEAR-old Lisburn woman who served with
the Salvation Army for over seven decades has died after a long
Sister Jean Belshaw, of Nettlehill Road in
Ballymacash, who was affectionately known as the 'Wee Salvation
Army Woman' passed away on January 26.
Jean (nee Welch) was born in May 1921 in
Grand Street and joined the Salvation Army when she was just ten
Her family were opposed to her joining but
even at a young age Jean was determined. She wanted to join the
Salvation Army's Social Service but was not allowed by her
family - something she had always longed to do.
After the Second World War, Jean met and
married her husband John and together they had five children Lil,
Alec, Jean, David and Louise.
Even while bringing up a family, Jean still
continued serving in the Salvation Army.
She would be regularly seen walking to and
from the Army Citadel along the Dublin Road, in their uniforms
carrying band instruments.
Jean was a soldier and songster who worked
tirelessly with the young people in the Lisburn Corps.
Among her many duties were arranging the
annual outing to parties.
Later in life Jean would often reminisce with
other members of the corps about how, as a young woman, she and
others would march to Hillsborough for the open air event then
on to Culcavy before returning back to the Salvation Army
citadel on the Dublin Road.
Jean was well known for taking part in the
Public House Ministry. Indeed she commanded a great respect from
those within the local pubs.
A welcome drink of orange juice and bag of
crisps were often left on the counter for her at the local pubs
she would visit.
Jean was most happy collecting for the Self
Denial Harvest Appeals.
Competitions were held to see who would
fundraise the most and more often than not Jean would be one of
the top fund raisers. So dedicated to the Army was Jean that she
was often heard to remark. 'If the Army's alright then I'm
Jean was happiest when working in the Service
of the Lord and often testified God's goodness in her life.
Prior to her death she would often remark that she was 'Ready to
go to Glory.'
Jean passed away on January 26 and her
funeral took place at the Army Citadel at Rushmore Drive. She
was buried with full military honours with a hat and an army
flag draped over her coffin.
She is survived by her five children, nine
grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Her husband John
passed away in 1988.
Two grandchildren have followed in their
grandmother's footsteps and are now serving as officers within
the Salvation Army. The members of the Salvation Army will sadly
miss her - 'Well done thy good and faithful servant '