I’m happy to relate good news stories and one such passed across my desk this week.
Earlier this year the skipper of 1st Denny & Dunipace Company (Westpark Church) had the opportunity to meet up with ‘‘one of his boys’’. He had joined the company as an Anchor Boy and progressed through the ranks of Junior and Company Sections before being discharged and leaving the country. His destination was the United States of America where graduated with a degree from a university there. His memory of the Boys’ Brigade was above all the culmination of his service when he was awarded the Queen’s Badge, the movement’s highest award; but not at the time without great entreaties and encouragement by the captain to ensure his completion of the necessary work so to do. The result and legacy of this, unseen by the boy at the time, was how it had opened doors and given him opportunities over there that he might otherwise never have had. As officers and captains we all know that the Queen’s Badge can certainly influence the future of many boys in further education and employment here at home but to hear of it so much further a field, particularly in the USA where the BB runs in a format somewhat different to our own, albeit with the same character building aims and Christian objectives, gives aninsight as to the worldwide appeal of our extended ‘‘family’’. Sadder is the reflection that this Denny Company nurtured by himself and former captains for 120 years; the history of such young men; many bandsmen and musicians and so, so many enjoying the diversity of BB camping, competitions and general esprit de corps, may be in danger of having to look at closing its doors due to lack of volunteers to assist in leadership. Come on those who have enjoyed such benefits? How about stepping up to the plate?