Our Melva’s always been a good sort
When she first came amongst us – That’s what we all thought
She came to Hastings from Lr Hutt way
Not just for a holiday – She was here to stay

And at Bible Class she made it quite clear
Hastings had one thing missing – There was no Girls Brigade here.
“Girls Brigade?” we said – “What’s she on about?
No conscription for us – we’re too young – that’s out!”

But she wasn’t going to be put off with a titter and a jeer
She knew Brigade was a good thing and she was going to see it here
And so she kept on talking, till the foundations were firmly laid.

Until one day in our Hastings Church – We had a company of the Girls Brigade
We know that when God chooses His workers – He doesn’t make a mistake
And when He chose this Captain, He knew what a good job she’d make

He knew she would be kind and considerate to girls who needed her aid
He knew she would boost them up, when their interest began to fade
Oh, yes, she knows how to lay the law down and make her point quite clear
But everyone can go to her in confidence and without fear.

At Brigade the girls learn tatting, cooking, camping – Lots of things
But what’s more important – they’re introduced to the King of Kings.

Oh, yes, God keeps His promises, the Bible says – “And when
you serve me faithfully in the small things – I’ll honour you before men”

And so we were delighted when Melva was honoured by the Queen
That Service Medal upon her breast is the best thing we’ve ever seen
And so we say “Congratulations – We’re mighty proud of you
And we know that Christ, the one you serve, will be proud of you, too.”

Oh, no, the way hasn’t been easy – it hasn’t all been a ball
And if anyone deserves this honour – it’s Melva Mildenhall.

Betty Graham   22/3/86

Original digital file


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Format of the original

Handwritten poem

Date published

22 March 1986

Creator / Author

  • Betty Graham


  • Melva Mildenhall

Accession number


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