THE BOYS' BRIGADE

Senior boys relaxing in the youth room

We are exceptionally proud to be the home of the first Boys’ Brigade Company in Ireland, founded by Mr William McVicker in 1888.  Mr McVicker remained captain of the 1st Belfast for more than 36 years, until his death in 1925. Despite partial blindness for 20 years, with periods of total blindness and severe illness, he remained an active officer until the end. He lived up to the motto “Sure and Steadfast”.

On Sunday, 29th October, 1933 the Battalion Colour was handed over to St Mary Magdalene.

During the 1980s, partially due to the Troubles and the reduction in parish numbers owing to people moving away from the Pass, the 1st Company of the Boys’ Brigade was transferred to St Columba’s Parish, Knock where it was staffed by former members of the Magdalene. The Charlotte Street Hall, birth-place of the company, was demolished to make way for new housing.

In 1997 the 1st was returned to its rightful home, under the leadership of Bill McMillan and his staff who are keeping the company alive and kicking during very difficult times.

Recently, one of the rooms in the Parochial Hall has been converted (thanks to the hard work of the boys and officers)  into a ‘Youth Room’ for use by the senior members and others. 

A proud Chris holding his discharge certificate.  Chris, who will now train as a leader will have his name added to the BB board (behind and below) - the first name to be added in 24 years!

This board lists all those who have completed the maximum possible service in the company section—  currently this is 5 years. 
Well done Chris
!

BB Enrolment—25th November 2007

Above:  Boys with Rector, the Rev Terence P Kerr

Below:  Boys with the late Mr Bob Hamilton, our oldest parishioner and former BB member who had just celebrated his 95th birthday!

Meelmore Lodge weekend 2010

Service of Celebration for the

125th Anniversary of the 1st Irish Company of The Boys’ Brigade (founded in this church)

The service took place on Sunday 8th September and was broadcast live on Radio Ulster’s ‘Morning Service’.  CD copies of the broadcast are now available—to order one click here

Captain:  Mr Bill McMillan