Ken Matthews is the Chief Commissioner pf Everyman’s Welfare Service – the philanthropic organisation associated closely with the Australian Defence Force, and whose role is to witness to Christ among the soldiers, and to serve their needs wherever possible.
Everyman’s is a faith-based organisation of high repute within the Army, seeking to build the spiritual lives of the soldiers wherever they find them – be that inside the Everymans’s Recreation Centres at base camp, or on the operational fields of training where their famous Everyman’s Brew Trucks are filled with goodies and beverages satisfying the soldiers needs. In this role, Everyman’s has been serving the Australian Defence Force since 1940.
Our local Army Base at Kapooka in Wagga Wagga has Everyman’s representatives, whilst Ken himself is based at Everyman’s Headquarters in Bandiana, Victoria. Being Chief Commissioner, Ken finds himself thrown together with many Senior Army Leaders helping to formulate delicate policies for the well-being of the ordinary soldier, particularly in relation to the more spiritual matters that a military organisation is ill-equipped to deal with. For such delicate matters as soldier suicide or PTSD, other related spiritual organisations (such as Army Chaplains, or Salvation Army Counselors) are also brought in to confer and advise.
Unfortunately, Ken has lately (Jan. 2017) become a widower with the loss of his dear wife Leonie, who was well known for her personal qualities, ministering capacities, Christian witnessing, and ability to supply hundreds of ANZAC biscuits for the Everyman’s Brew Trucks.
We salute you Ken in your testing role, and pray for smoother and brighter Christian paths ahead. May God grant you the fruitfulness you seek.
Update from Pastor Ross Brinkman, 6th January 2017:
I am saddened to have to let you know that our precious Leonie Matthews went home to be with the Lord yesterday. She has as you know been in palliative care for some time due to incurable cancer.
Please pray for Ken and their two young adult children as they come to terms with such deep loss.
Below is an extract from one of Leonie’s own news letters during her struggles with this disease. It illustrates well her faith which will produce eternal life for her.
“We cannot thank you all enough. God is certainly faithful. It is wonderful thinking He is sitting beside us all the time and we need to look to Him and not be overwhelmed by what goes on. His peace is ready there for us at all times if we would only look to Him without allowing worry to come in at times. Amazing thinking He is involved in every person’s life on this earth…….Had a reading while in hospital about the things that happen to us are not necessarily about us – God may have another purpose.”