Darren Elsley, the Salvation Army major for the Byron Shire, is leaving this month to serve at Tweed Heads.
Darren Elsley, the Salvation Army major for the Byron Shire, is leaving this month to serve at Tweed Heads.

Fresh challenges for local heroes

BYRON Shire is losing two of its greatest - if low-key - local heroes.

Salvation Army majors Darren and Leanne Elsley, who have served at Byron for the past six years, have been reassigned to Tweed Heads.

The couple are Northern Rivers locals and consider themselves lucky to be able to work so close to home, and their families in Lismore.

But Darren said he would still be sad to leave.

"I'm going to miss the friendships I've built up over the years," he said. "Every Friday night I go around the pubs and clubs fundraising and I'd like to say a big thank you to their patrons and managers, who have been great.

"The people of Byron Shire have been so generous in their support, including for our op shop in the industrial estate. Groups such as the Bangalow Lions and the Byron Bay Winter Whales have been tremendous over the years."

Locals will also miss the Elsleys, especially the many people whose lives are made slightly less arduous by the existence of the Fletcher St Cottage, which the couple established.

The cottage was instigated with the Byron Bay Community Centre after Darren proposed to the Salvation Army that they split Byron away from the Ballina district, as the workload was just too great for one set of officers.

Darren and Leanne will be replaced by captains Neville and Jenny Hall.



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