vic pokeBorn in the 1940’s on a farm in northern Tasmania, Vic Poke left school at an early age and came from humble beginnings to become a Salvation Army Officer in the late 1960’s.

A long illustrious career followed, where he partnered with mum to minister throughout Australia, the UK and Sweden for over 40 years.  He was a passionate and innovative leader, a creative communicator of the message of God’s love and a caring pastor who was loved by many.  Dad loved his Saints, his golf and his bird-watching and could talk for hours with great enthusiasm about subjects that were close to his heart.

He was a relentless worker who was fiercely independent and pushed himself towards his goals, whether it was running a marathon in his 60’s or implementing another innovative program for his beloved Salvos.

Most importantly, he was a man who had an unshakable faith and even in his last few months when cancer started to rob him of his health and vitality, he remained steadfast.

His last days were very difficult and to see such a strong, independent man wasted away was difficult to see, so it was almost a relief when he left us overnight to be at peace with the Father.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have a great relationship and much of my admiration and respect came from afar, but I was fortunate to see him in the hours before his death.  We may have been distant, but he was my dad and he was loved, and I know that this love was mutual, even if we had a strange way of expressing it to each other.

We are very different men, and yet still very similar in many ways and there is little doubt that he had a significant influence on my life and values.

He will be missed, but he will never be forgotten and we will forever be inspired by a life that may have had humble beginnings, but ended up having a global influence.

Rest now Dad and enjoy your reward.

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