Hometown roots and a humble approach strongly resonated on Tuesday, as the national leader of the Salvation Army addressed those gathered at a St. John's luncheon.

Commissioner Brian Peddle was in the city to speak at the launch of the annual Red Shield campaign.

Several hundred people attended the event to hear Peddle, who fondly calls Newfoundland and Labrador 'home.'

"I'm a Newfoundlander born in Norman's Cove, Trinity Bay," said Peddle. "Very proud to be back here with colleagues."

Peddle and his wife Rosalie began their life's work with the Salvation Army in this province, but Peddle's career has reached all over the globe, from New Zealand to the United Kingdom.

He also spent time overseas fundraising for those less fortunate — by living under the poverty line.

"We were literally hungry as the week went on ... but the significance of it was, after five days we had a nice restaurant meal," he said. "But those who are in the cycle of poverty never get to make that choice at the end of the week." 

Peddle spoke about the mission, elaborating how people down on their luck used the church as a way to recover.

Salvationist Wanda Burt stressed the importance of needing people like Peddle to lead the cause.

"We need people, as he [Peddle] said, to make an impact and to make a difference ... whether as volunteers, be it in the churches or in the community," Burt said.

Peddle's humble beginnings have helped.

"And of course we are really proud of him, being from Newfoundland. The boy from around the bay — to around the world."