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Musgravetown Salvation Army officers proudly decorate with Yuletide collectibles


MUSGRAVETOWN, N.L. —

For Salvation Army officers Majors Austin and Lillian Randell, their home is a carefully crafted and meticulously detailed presentation for their Christmas decorations.
The clergy have been in Musgravetown for four years, and are originally from the Great Northern Peninsula. Lillian is from St. Lunaire-Griquet and Austin is from Englee.
Austin has been an officer in the Salvation Army for 25 years, while Lillian is in her 29th year.
They’ve lived in more than seven places as Salvation Army officers, taking their extensive Christmas decorations with them to each community.
Austin and Lillian told The Packet they slowly roll out inside their home their many decorations which feature different types of collectibles, figurines and small statues in addition to traditional Christmas trees, lights and other adornments.
They’ve collected precious figures, like Salvation Army carolers by the Breyer Molding Company, beautiful crystal statuettes, and even cookie jars.
Austin says, in recent years, one of the most popular items are images or figures of an old pickup truck carrying Christmas trees. He says they’ve picked up ornaments from all over — even in the United States, in year-round Christmas shops.
Lillian’s favourite ornaments, however, are the various types of nativity scenes they have. They have them from different cultures, like the one from Belize they got this year. The one closest to her heart represents her Indigenous roots, she says.
“And the mummers, of course,” adds Austin.
Perhaps one of the best ways they celebrate during Christmas is to invite friends into their home. The Randells host an open house for the church people, as well as a brunch for the Salvation Army band, and they all marvel at the different decorations they have on display.
“We go caroling to the shut-ins,” says Lillian. “That’s a big thing here.”
As for Christmas itself, the majors are looking forward to spending time with their 29-year old daughter Julia, and Austin’s sister who are coming to their home for the holidays.

Jonathan.parsons@thepacket.ca
Twitter: @jejparsons 
 

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