Moray town has the largest BB Company in Scotland

A Moray town with a population of less than 9,000 people has the largest Boys Brigade Company in Scotland.

The 1st Buckie group has approximately 220 officers, helpers and boys and will celebrate its 70th anniversary on December 23.

The thriving Company – which states “the adventure begins here” - meets at Buckie South and West Church of Scotland and the local high school.

1st Buckie Boys Brigade
1st Buckie Boys Brigade members and Clare Russell, Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire.

Captain Alan Mcintosh said the Boys Brigade, one of the biggest Christian youth organisations in the UK and Ireland, still has a “huge part to play” in society.

“Buckie has been a very strong Company for many years and prides itself on offering the boys a programme to suit their needs,” added the retired secondary school deputy head teacher.

“Our programme runs on a 'year group' approach.

“Boys, from Anchor, all the way through to Queen’s Men, other than the opening and closing services, have a programme for their own age group.

“I firmly believe that if you have committed staff, a programme that meets the boys’ needs, then boys will be there.”

Mr Mcintosh, who has been Captain since 1980, said there were many benefits to joining the Boys Brigade, whose motto is Sure and Steadfast – taken from the book of Hebrews in the Bible

The Buckie Company offers courses on First Aid, wayfaring, car maintenance, Christian faith, money matters, drug and alcohol education, seamanship and communications/IT.

The boys, who come from the town and the surrounding area, also do gymnastics, 5-aside football, play in the Bugle Band and attend an annual camp.

1st Buckie parade
1st Buckie Boy's Brigade on parade.

Mr Mcintosh said: “The Company’s emphasis is on discipline, commitment and leadership.

“In the past few years, local business, industry and colleges/universities see the value in a young man who has gained his Queen’s Badge.

“It entails 30 hours community service, 30 hours service to the Company, 15 hours of an interest or skill and 15 hours of a physical activity.

“There are also two residential courses that boys attend.

“A surprising number of young men come back to me and say that they took their Queen’s Badge book with them to an interview and the focus for most of it was on leadership.”

Satisfaction

Mr Mcintosh said 1st Buckie, which has an annual display in March, has a number of officers with very long service.

“My wife Jennifer, in charge of the Anchor Boys, has been a leader for around 38 years,” he added.

“The adult in charge of the junior section has been with the Company for approximately 60 years.

“The community of Buckie fully support the Company and we are sponsored by a number of local businesses.”

Mr Mcintosh said his two sons, Malcolm and Richard, are both “Queen’s Men” and Richard is a registered helper.

“The Boys Brigade is a very worthwhile cause and gives Jennifer and I a great feeling of satisfaction when boys, who were enrolled in the Anchor Boys, are now back as officers/helpers.

“Some have their own boys going through.”

1st Buckie Boy's Brigade in hall
Activities.

Rev Shuna Dicks, Interim Moderator of Buckie South and West Church, said she was very impressed with the Company.

“It has a huge number of boys and volunteers and do a lot in the community - I find them quite inspiring,” she added.

“More than 50 teenagers attend the Sunday morning Bible study which is very encouraging.”

Reverence

The Boys Brigade, which has the Queen as its Patron, has more than 1,400 Companies across the UK and Ireland, comprised of 50,000 children and young leaders and 15,000 volunteer leaders.

Its objective is the “advancement of Christ's kingdom among boys and the promotion of habits of obedience, reverence, discipline, self-respect and all that tends towards a true Christian manliness."