With The Boys’ Brigade (BB) having its roots in Scotland, the 1st Singapore Company was founded on 12 Jan 1930 at Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church by Scotsman James Milner Fraser. Before leaving for Singapore to work in 1927, Fraser had promised his old Brigade Captain that he would start a BB Company in Singapore as soon as he could.
At the official enrolment of BB Singapore by the Brigade Headquarters in London in Aug 1930, the Company had a membership of 40. By 1936, the Singapore Battalion was 200 strong. Since then, the Brigade has been contributing to the character development of boys throughout their BB journey.
Through the grace of God, BB Singapore has grown to 113 companies in kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, post-secondary institutions, a special education school and an international school.
In line with our 90th Anniversary theme—“BB through the generations, for all generations!”—we caught up with Tobias Lee, a rank-and-file BB member who is currently in our Primers Programme. Tobias recalled stories his grandfather, Dr Lee Soo Ann (BB’s Honorary Vice-President), has shared with him since he was a young boy.
Tobias said: “They would go to Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church weekly for parades but his friends and he were so close that they would hang out together to study and even head to Pulau Ubin for camps and to have fun. The sense of community is something that has stuck with BB and is what the BB is known for. I can still see it today in my own BB journey as I’ve been blessed to be part of an amazing community where my seniors and Officers have always been there to guide and nurture me. I hope The Boys’ Brigade will continue to provide a nurturing community that will continue to advance Christ’s Kingdom among boys.”
The concept behind the 90th Anniversary logo: The salute is an expression of honour, respect and commendation. The uniform, along with the forward-looking nature of the Boy’s posture, is a signifier that the BB seeks to continue to develop leaders in society for many more generations. The textured lanyards mark the numeral “90”. The circle of stars represents the NCO Star or Leadership badge for holistic development in character and leadership.
Celine Low is the Executive (Corporate Communications) at The Boys’ Brigade in Singapore.