- The Boys' Brigade in Singapore
The Boys' Brigade in Singapore is a youth uniformed group organisation which has been present in
Singaporesince 1930. It currently consists of over 700 officers and 5,500 boys in over 117 companies. Its current Brigade President is Mr Tan Kok Heng. The Boys' Brigade in Singapore celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 2005.
Boys' Brigadewas introduced to Singapore by James Milner Fraser, an architectfrom Britain. He was a former member of the 23rd Aberdeenand the 33rd LondonCompanies.
12 January 1930, Fraser started the 1st Singapore Company at Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church. With the aid of ex- Sergeant Quek Eng Mohof the 1st SwatowCompany, he assembled 12 local Boys to form the company.
Progress was slow initially, but by the time the company was officially enrolled at Brigade Headquarters in
London, in August 1930, the membership had risen to 40. The company chaplainwas Reverend William Murrayand Fraser's lieutenantswere John McNeish(formerly of 76th Glasgow) and Dong Chui Sing. Bible class, drill, concerts, wayfaring signalling, first aid, swimming, fencing, tumblingand other forms of physical recreationformed the core of the Boys' Brigade syllabus.
In the following year, the first camp was held at the
Singapore Volunteer Campat Siglap. A successful inspection was also held to bring the session to a close.
Extension soon followed, spearheaded by McNeish with the formation of the 2nd Singapore Company at
Kampong Kapor Methodist Churchin February 1931.
By 1936, the Singapore
Battalionwas 200-strong, with the 3rd Singapore (1933) started at the Anglo-Chinese Continuation School, the 5th Singapore (1934) at Choon Guan Presbyterian Boys School, 4th Singapore (1934) at Geylang Methodist Churchand the 6th Singapore (1934) at Paya Lebar Methodist Church.
The Battalion Colors were presented to the battalion by
F. C. Sandsin 1936 and the drill competition was introduced. Fraser served as the Battalion Presidentfrom 1936 to 1956. In 1940, he handed the captaincy of the 1st Singapore over to one of his Boys, S. P. Chua.
During the war years of 1942 to 1945, The Boys' Brigade's activities were suspended. To avoid desecration, the prized Singapore Colors were destroyed, but some of the coveted drums were stored away in a room at
After the war, S. P. Chua revived the 1st Singapore Company. He was joined immediately by Fraser and by 1950, the Battalion had regained its old strength.
By 1968, there were 28 companies in Singapore. In 1971, the Brigade had the distinguished honor of having the
President of the Republic of Singaporeas its Patron. The Brigade continues to grow today.
There are 3 programmes for different age groups:
* Juniors Programme - 8 to 11 years old (Primary 3 to Primary 6)
* Seniors Programme - 12 to 16 years old (Secondary 1 to Secondary 4 or 5)
* Primers Programme - 17 to 19 years (Post-Secondary, Junior Colleges/Polytechnics/Institutes of Technical Education, girls are eligible to enroll in this programme)
harity Gift Box
The Boys' Brigade Sharity Gift Box (BBSGB) is a major annual event held during the
Christmasperiod whereby more than 3,500 BB Officers and Boys, along with volunteers from other various groups, are mobilised to help collect gifts such as food and beverages from people and distribute these items to the needy in Singapore. These beneficiaries include the disabled, welfare homes, the elderly, and low-income families. There are also wishes from the beneficiaries that people can help to fulfill with, such as those requesting for food or household items, or toys and mattresses from children or the elderly.
Since the BBSGB was started in 1988, it has been largely successful and has received great support from Singaporeans who have generously donated gifts over the years. From around 7,000 gifts collected in 1988, it has collected 428,000 [ [http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/248312/1/.html BB Sharity Gift Box exceeds target of food, household items for needy] , CNA (December 20, 2006). Retrieved on December 21, 2006.] gifts in 2006. Last year, it fell short of the higher target of 430,000 gifts [ [http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/318709/1/.html Sharity Gift Box falls short of annual target, appeals for more donations] , CNA (December 22, 2007). Retrieved on January 13, 2008.] . In the last fifteen years, the BB has been working hand in hand with the
National Council of Social Services(NCSS). This year will see BBSGB into its 21st year.
BB Companies in Singapore
Each BB company in Singapore is identified by a unique number to represent that company (except for companies catered for Primers Programme). In general, the smaller the number is, the earlier the company was founded. For example, the 1st Singapore Company has the longest history in Singapore. While this is true for most companies, the same cannot be said for certain compaines as the number was "recycled" (especially in the 1980's and early 1990's). The majority of the companies are catered for the Seniors Programme. Companies with a "J" indicate Juniors Programme. Every company also has a sponsoring school where new boys are recruited annually, and weekly parades are held.
The BB companies in Singapore are divided into 12 clusters - North 1, North 2, North 3, East 1, East 2, East 3, South 1, South 2, South 3, West 1, West 2 and West 3. Each company is categorised into the appropriate cluster based on its geographical location on the Singapore island.
List of BB companies in Singapore
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