Major Leslie Condon was always very interested in and supportive of the development of young people. The fact that he worked so well with them made him a man in demand at Music Schools and camps all over the world.
His sudden Promotion to Glory, whilst conducting the Croydon Citadel Band in its Christmas carolling programme in December 1983, was a devastating blow, not only to his immediate family of Major Ruth Condon and their five children, but to the family of a world-wide Salvation Army. Messages of sympathy from all parts of globe came, many of which contained financial contributions in memory of this caring and understanding Salvationist.
Mrs Condon, touched by both the generosity and the potential that this represented, set about establishing The Leslie Condon Trust which could be used to continue and expand their combined interest in both the spiritual and musical education of young Salvationists.
The Trustees outlined the objectives as being:-
"The provision of spiritual and musical education for young people not exceeding the age of 25 years, who originate from 'Third World' countries and developing Salvation Army Territories and are either affiliated to or are nominated by The Salvation Army"
Since 1986, in a quiet way and with no flourish of publicity, the Trust has supported projects in all the main continents of the world and distributed many thousands of pounds to encourage schools of music and develop the training of groups and individuals.
Considerable support for the Trust has been given over the years. Commemorative Festivals and fund raising programmes have taken place in many parts of the world, with some corps holding regular repeat Festivals to continue their own supporting role of the work established by the Major. The Trustees have always welcomed such interest whilst encouraging a low profile to the work that they themselves undertake.
Since its formation, the Trust has been able to provide funding for five first ever Music Schools in the Sri Lanka, Zambia, The Philippines, Myanmar (Burma) and East Africa Territories; and has given substantial support to other Schools in East Africa, South America West and Zaire. It has also been involved in projects for Italy, South Africa and South America East by financing visits for Salvationist musicians, such as Major Maurice Cooper, Colonel Robert Redhead, and Major Joy Webb to visit and direct Schools there. Along with these well known officers the Trust has enabled Doctor Richard Holtz and Bandmaster Brian Johnson to travel to distant destinations and teach and train young people in the developing countries of the world.
More recent projects have covered transport costs for Lt Colonel John Hassard and Bandmaster Brian Johnson travelling to Congo (Kinshasa) to conduct a Music Institute for 130 students – featuring 3 Brass Groups, Timbrels, Dance and Choral. The event concluded with a seminar for music leaders attended by in excess of 250 people.
Through these ventures the Trust has been able to support many hundreds of young Salvationists who would otherwise not receive such opportunities. For example in war-torn Liberia, funds were made available for a student to attend a Music College as the lone Salvationist keyboard musician in that land.
Since the Promotion to Glory of Major Ruth Condon in 1994, the Family and Trustees have been anxious to continue the work of aiding young people, and the allocation of resources for future projects are now being prepared.
The Trustees acknowledge the important support given of so many contributors and participants that identify with the continuous work of the Trust and the abiding influence of Major Leslie Condon.