Tragic News - IHQ Press Release

The following is a news release from International Headquarters this morning.COLONEL Bo Brekke, Territorial Commander of The Salvation Army’s Pakistan Territory, was shot and killed yesterday, Thursday 27 September. The incident occurred in the territorial headquarters compound in Lahore, Pakistan, shortly after the colonel had presided over the retirement and farewell meeting to the Chief Secretary and Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries.

Information to date points to an individual act of criminality. There is nothing to suggest that this is related in any way to terrorism. It is reported that a man has been arrested on possibly related charges.The incident occurred at about 6.30 pm local time while Colonel Brekke was working alone in his office. The colonel’s wife, Colonel Birgitte Brekke, was in London at the time, attending meetings at International Headquarters.

A Norwegian by birth, Bo Brekke, who was 50, was a cadet in the Proclaimers of Salvation Session, being commissioned as an officer in May 1980 and appointed as corps officer to Brevik, in Norway. The following year he transferred to corps leadership in the Denmark Territory, the home territory of Birgitte. After two years in Denmark, Bo and Birgitte returned to Norway and served in corps appointments until their transfer to the Sri Lanka Territory at the beginning of 1987.

In Sri Lanka, a short period as Manager of Hope House Home for Employed Disabled Men preceded an appointment as Acting Property Secretary in July 1987, and then as Property and Special Efforts Secretary from November 1988. As Community Services Secretary from 1991, the then Captain Brekke also undertook management of Hope House once again.Bo and Birgitte returned to Norway from 1993 to 1995, giving leadership to Fredrikstad Corps during that time.Having developed a deep love for South Asia and its people, it was a personal joy for Bo and Birgitte Brekke when, in August 1995, they were appointed as regional leaders to Bangladesh. Under their leadership the work of the Army flourished and in 1997 the Bangladesh Region was granted command status, and Major Bo Brekke was appointed as Officer Commanding, with Birgitte serving alongside him as Command President of Women’s Ministries and Command Youth Officer.

The late summer of 2002 saw a further change of culture and working environment as Bo and Birgitte were appointed as divisional leaders of the North Scotland Division in the United Kingdom Territory, followed by service respectively as Chief Secretary and Secretary for Mission Development in the Eastern Europe Territory. It was from there that, almost exactly one year ago (15 September 2006) Colonel Bo Brekke was appointed as Territorial Commander of the Pakistan Territory, and Colonel Birgitte Brekke as Territorial President of Women’s Ministries.

At the time of her husband’s promotion to Glory Colonel Birgitte Brekke was attending meetings at International Headquarters in London. Arrangements were made immediately for her to fly to Norway to be with her two sons, Benjamin and Bo Christoffer, and other family members. She was accompanied by her sister, Major Hannelise Tvedt, who had come to London to see Birgitte while she was visiting IHQ.Contact details for Colonel Brekke and the family, as well as funeral arrangements, will be made known in due course.

The funeral will be conducted in Oslo, Norway, by the General, accompanied by Commissioner Helen Clifton, World President of Women’s Ministries.General Clifton said: ‘Colonel Bo Brekke was a Salvation Army leader of unusual and distinctive talents. Both he and his wife, Colonel Birgitte Brekke, were known for their hearts of compassion towards the marginalised. Their service together in many lands has been marked by creativity and imagination in order to reach out to the poor, giving them dignity, and also to share their personal faith as Salvationists in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour.