The Boys' Brigade Founded 1883
The Boys' Brigade was founded in the year 1883 by William Alexander Smith in Glasgow. His primary aim was to keep boys of 12 to 17 years in touch with their Church. The idea immediately appealed to all denominations and a parochial effort became a widespread movement.
In the year 1888 William McVicker visited the Founder in Glasgow, and as a result of that visit the 1st Belfast Company attached to St. Mary Magdalene Church was formed.
In the year 1891 the Rev. William Monk Gibbon, M.A. a young Dublin Clergyman, then Curate at St. Matthias' Church, paid a short visit to Belfast to see the Rev. R.H.S. Cooper in connection with the work of the Dublin University Missionary Union. While waiting for Mr. Cooper, Rev. Monk Gibbon chanced to pick up and read a small book entitled "The Boys' Brigade Manual." He found in this book what he had been looking for to solve problems in his own parish, and in the same year with the aid of his Rector, Canon (later Bishop) Wynne, the 1st Dublin Company was formed.
Other Companies were soon formed and on the 3rd March 1892, representatives of eight of them met under the Chairmanship of the Rev. W. Monk Gibbon, when it was decided to form a Battalion. Companies were formed in other parts of the country and we are pleased that to day Companies are operating in all parts of Ireland.
Today The Boys' Brigade caters for children and young people from 5 - 18 years in four age categories. The method used offers a comprehensive and enlightened programme of Spiritual, Social, Educational and Physical Activities, through a Badge Incentive Scheme and specialised activities having a wide appeal. The motto is "Sure and Steadfast".