Boys' Brigade at home and abroad

Good to see so many local Queensmen pictured over the last weeks in the Falkirk Herald.

A proud moment in a young man’s life is the presentation of his Queen’s Badge; a culmination of volunteering and involvement in his church, company and community, along with challenges in advancement in his personal interests. Including two residential courses over the period of the award, it sometimes even gets harder for some, in producing a comprehensive log of the ‘‘journey’’ for external assessment.

For the first time, two BB members are to be elected to the Scottish Youth Parliament which represents young people aged 14-25 years to encourage them to play their part in a democracy..

Travelling abroad it’s good to see the spread of our organisation over the world. Not surprising then to have ears prick up when a tour guide drew attention to the statue of the Boys’ Brigade Drummer Boy in the centre of Bergen. More so as I had never heard of the BB in Norway. Investigation found that he belonged to the ‘Beukorps (Archery Brigade) officially set up in 1850s but with older origins. The organisation has military roots and carries out drill ‘‘in close order’’ which they annually illustrate in Norwegian Constitution Day Parades on May 17. Their activities include ‘‘play’’ for the younger ones through physical activities and drumming, catering appropriately up to the age of 20. They wear a uniform of hats, cross and waist belts on top of jacket and trousers and the younger ‘‘privates’’ carry wooden rifles and crossbows over their shoulders with the older ‘‘drummers’’ beating out the rhythm of the march. Girls become members from 1991. Wonder if our own William Alexander Smith had any whisper of these lads along with the more obvious Glasgow Foundry Boys when he founded our organisation in 1883?