The Boys’ Brigade has been privileged to have Her Majesty as our Patron throughout her reign and in celebration of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee four young men, representing the four nations of the United Kingdom, have conveyed the loyal greetings of The Brigade to Her Majesty at Balmoral Castle.
Her Majesty’s reply was sealed in a Baton and carried by BB members throughout the British Isles using a variety of means to reach London for the annual Council Meetings of the Brigade on 15th September. The Baton was first used in 1935 when the Brigade conveyed a message to Her Majesty’s grandfather King George V on the occasion of his Silver Jubilee and later in 1951 to King George VI in celebration of the “Festival of Britain”.
The Baton has travelled through Scotland before being conveyed by Ferry to Northern Ireland and will then cross into the Republic of Ireland and then fly to Newcastle to begin its journey through England and Wales.
The Royal Message was brought to The Town Hall, Coleraine by a group of Queensmen from the Coleraine and District Battalion and the Battalion’s Football Team who won the Northern Ireland District Shield in June.
David Gilmore, a Queensman from 1st Kilrea Company arrived on bicycle with the baton, in recognition of The Mayor’s past membership of 1st Kilrea Company and his late father’s cycle business in the town.
Battalion President, Rev Trevor McCormick introduced the Queensmen to The Mayor, and spoke of the contribution they had made to both The Brigade and Community while achieving the highest award in BB. Mr Jonathan Gracey, Director of BBNI, and James Scott from 1st Boardmills Company who had been the BBNI representative at Balmoral Castle to receive the Baton from Her Majesty were also introduced.
Mr John McFadden who had managed the football team gave a brief summary of the origin of the team and their success in the past season. David Gilmore read the Message of Loyal Greeting to Her Majesty before presenting The Baton to the Mayor.
In response, The Mayor, said that he was honoured and thrilled to be part of such an historic occasion, and he spoke of his appreciation and respect of the work done through The Boys’ Brigade. He encouraged all present to remember the fun and experiences had in the wide variety of activities but particularly the clear teaching of Christian principles and values which would be a compass for life.
The Mayor was presented with an engraved paperweight to mark the occasion and The Baton continued on its journey to an event in Cookstown.