The Boys’ Brigade movement in Northern Ireland, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, has embarked on a recruitnent drive.
The East Antrim Battalion, which represents 24 companies from the Larne, Ballyclare and Carrickfergus areas, has already marked the occasion by dedicating a new banner.
On Saturday,battalion executive members were invited to attend the mayor’s parlour in Larne, where Cllr Maureen Morrow said: “I am delighted to welcome the East Antrim BB executive to my office. In this, their 125th year, we encourage boys of all ages to join their local companies.”
Drew Buchanan, battalion president, commented: “The battalion executive welcome the mayor’s words of encouragement as we attempt to increase the battalion numbers by 125 in this the 125th anniversary of the BB.”
The Boys’ Brigade in Northern Ireland was formed by William McVicker, the young and enthusiastic Secretary of the Mission Sunday School, connected with St. Mary Magdalene Parish, in Belfast’s Donegall Pass.
In March, 1888 he read an article in The Sunday at Home Family Magazine, entitled ‘The Problem of the Poor’, about the work that William Smith was doing in Glasgow with an organisation formed there in 1883 and known as the Boys’ Brigade.
That summer, he sailed from Ireland to Scotland, to meet William Smith, with a burning desire to start such work in Ireland. He returned to Belfast, bubbling over with enthusiasm, to start a company of the Boys’ Brigade.
Application for enrolment of the first company was granted on December 31, 1888. To find your nearest Boys’ Brigade company, visit /www.boysbrigadeni.org.uk/