New Year - New Opportunities

Welcome to 2018, a new Brigade year with new opportunities.  If you are a BB leader, the new year brings new opportunities to achieve the BB Object in the lives of the Boys in your care.  If you are a Brigader, the new year brings new opportunities to make friends, learn practical life skills, to be challenged to step out of your comfort zone, undertake adventurous pursuits, grow closer to Christ Jesus, and to have fun.  If you are a church leader, the new year brings new opportunities to support your BB leadership team as they take your church into your community.  If you are a parent, the new year brings new opportunities to see your son excel in new ventures, grow in responsibility, master skills, take big steps in putting others before himself, and to grow more into that young Christian man that you desire so much.  Companies are starting up for the year and already planning those camps, outings, expeditions, canoeing trips, etc, for which BB is famous.  If you are not yet linked with a BB Company, check out where we all are on the Brigade Groups tab on the left.

Immanuel - God With Us

All BB Companies across Queensland have commenced their Summer recess, a time to review all that God has done in 2017, a time to relax, a time to enjoy being with family and friends, a time to enjoy God's peace, a time to wait on our Lord for His guidance and direction, and a time to organise another action-packed BB year for the Boys in 2018.  From the members of the Board of Drectors may each one in the BB Queensland family - Boys, Officers, helpers, instructors, parents, and church leaders - have a very Merry Christmas and a safe and peaceful New Year.  As the angels heralded some 2,000 years ago, praise God and His very special Son, our Lord, Christ Jesus.

Awards Nights

November is when BB Companies across Queensland hold their Awards Night / Display Night / Presentation Night / Annual Inspection (are there other titles for the big occasion?).  This is the occasion in which the Boys receive their very well deserved badges, certificates, prizes and trophies for the year.  Normally there are several parents, siblings, Old Boys, church folk, and others present to cheer the Boys on.  Super congratulations to those Boys who have won their Company's biggest award, be it Brigader of the Year or other name.  We rejoice with each Boy whose development and growth is recognised and rewarded with badges, certificates and the like.  And we thank God for each of the 200-plus volunteer Officers, leaders, instructors and helpers who make BB possible for Boys and young men.  To all, after your awards night and break-up, have a refreshing and safe holiday period as we celebrate Immanuel - God with us.

International Men's Day

International Men's Day 2017 is on Sunday 19th November.  IMD focusses on men's health (suicide rates are still far too high), improving gender relations, and celebrating men's achievements in the areas of marriage, family and community.  Male life expectancy is lower than women's.  Some 95% of workplace fatalities and 99% of combat deaths are men.  The following day is Universal Children's Day. 

More than 200 men volunteer their time and energy to mentoring Boys and young men through The Boys' Brigade Queensland.  Whether as a leader in a local Company, an event co-ordinator at regional or State level, or active in executive functions, each one is appreciated.  Thank you each one for your commitment and dedication to advancing Christ's Kingdom among Boys.   

If we each invited one more man to join us in this exciting ministry, think of the number of extra Boys we could help in faith development, leadership training, adventurous pursuits, meeting challenges, having fun, and building friendships.

State Chaplaincy team

A State Chaplaincy Team has been established to rejuvenate this vital role in BBQld with a well resourced chaplain working alongside captains, leaders and Boys in BB companies across the State.  Rod Adam, Chadwick Palmer, Terrie Seymour and Gordon Wallace will be making contact with companies in the next few weeks.  

The primary roles of the BBQld chaplain includes connecting with you and your team on a periodic basis as mutually beneficial, and praying for the specific issues, challenges, joys and achievements particular to your company and ministry within your local church.  

In today’s complex world the generations of Boys we work with in company are presented with challenges and stresses that mean the BB ministry is more vital than ever to build resilience and help them to find their identity in Christ and their place in the adult world as solid Christian men. Chaplaincy support is of growing importance generally in the community in lots of areas of life, schooling and industry. It is our prayer that BBQld chaplains will make a difference in the BB local ministry.

Kickstart 2017

Board members had a little chuckle last year when Jason Knight suggested grouping the beginning of the year events under the title, Kickstart 2017.  But that is exactly what happened on Saturday 18th February at Wynnum Baptist Church.  Some 100 leaders and Omegas got kick started into the year.  Of course, for many, PAC19 had already achieved that; but there is a time-honoured argument as to whether Pan Australian Camps start a new year or conclude the previous one.

Over 80 leaders, including several of our Life Members, once more ventured out for breakfast and were not disappointed with the spread that 18th Brisbane produced.  The Leaders’ Breakfast heard snap shots from Don Smith on PAC19 and Keith Young on BB History.  Carlisle Wyllie also shared the latest news on our exciting 96.5 Family Radio advertising campaign.

Twenty of our 26 Captains then set the day aside (or were represented by another Company Officer) in a Captains’ Conference, in which they discussed the latest legal and administrative requirements, upcoming events, and more.  They were also inspired as National International Affairs Director, Graham Robertson, shared his faith walk story and exciting synopsis of his 69 years of BB service across NSW, ACT and now QLD.

A healthy number of leaders undertook their Safe Environments refresher training (all leaders are obliged to do this at least every three years) under the National Operations Director, Barry Sims.  If you are needing to update your SE quals there will be opportunity at Connect 17 in May.  Alternatively, speak to your Battalion to arrange a date.

Nine new BB Officers are in the making following involvement in ILT Fast Track.  Fast Track allows Queen’s Men of the past two years the opportunity to move into a white shirt as Lieutenants, recognising their previous learning as Brigaders.

Several Omegas turned up for the afternoon as they undertook Queen’s Badge Info Sessions with State Operations Director, Anthony Campling.

Thank you to Training Director, Mike Richardson, for training sessions well put together.

2017 Up and Running

2017 is shaping up to have one of the best starts to a Brigade year in many years. PAC19, attended by almost 300 campers from Australia-wide, has come and gone right here in Queensland, at Tamborine Mtn. Stories of great times are already seeping out.

Saturday 28th January will see our State Board assembling for a full day retreat, to consider the year ahead and to spend some quiet time with our God.

Companies will be starting up over the next fortnight. Indeed, 1st Mount Isa has already held its initial meeting with a good number of Boys checking out what this BB is. Another new Company is holding its opening church parade on Sunday 30th January - 6th Ipswich Coy. So, to Mount Isa Baptist and Raceview Congregational churches, welcome to the BB family. It is great to see and welcome back more churches who have enjoyed BB ministry in the past.

2017 is a special year as we celebrate 100 years of BB ministry to Junior-aged Boys. When BB commenced it was for 12 to 17 year old Boys, who today we would call young men. But it was in the midst of The Great War (1914-1918), in 1917, that The Boy Reserves started for youngsters from the age of nine. Of course, Anchors has since been added to the BB family. So, 2017 is the centenary of BB ministry in churches to children as well as young people.

Christmas wishes

To all the Boys, leaders, staff, parents and friends who comprise BB in Queensland may you know afresh this Christmas Season the real joy and peace that comes from knowing the Lord Jesus.  He truly is Immanuel - God with us.

As you relax and rest from a busy BB year, may He re-charge your 'batteries'.  If you are off to PAC19 in January, keep safe, hydrated and have the time of your life.  As you plan an exciting, fun-filled and challenging 2017 Brigade programme do so keeping in mind that Boys' Brigade is all about advancing Christ's Kingdom among Boys and growing a true Christian disciple in each one.

Parents, we thank you wholeheartedly for allowing us the privilege of working with your precious sons throughout 2016 and look forward to doing so further in 2017.

"Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east and have come to worship Him ... and when they came into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother and fell down and worshipped Him. And when they opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense and myrrh." (Matthew 2: 2, 11).  Like the Magi, may we search with the attitude of wanting to worship the Almighty, and may we each be prepared to lay down our best gifts before Him.  Merry Christmas.

Recognition of BB leaders

At the State Annual General Meeting in November, several BB Officers and leaders were recognised for their exemplary service to Boys and the Lord through The Boys’ Brigade.  Life Membership was bestowed upon Mr Don Smith, an Officer for 56 years who continues to serve in several major capacities locally and internationally.  Don mentors young leaders involved in staff responsibilities of the Leadership development courses and will be the Camp Director for the 19th Pan Australian Camp at Tamborine Mtn in January.  He is the only person to participate in every PAC.  Don has served as State President for a total of 14 years as well as in other capacities at State level.  He has served on the National executive, led international camp contingents and advanced Christ’s kingdom among Boys at every opportunity over a life time.  Well done, good and faithful servant.

Also honoured was Rod Hurman, OIC Juniors at 45th Brisbane Company and long-term President of South Moreton Battalion.  Captain of 46th Brisbane Company and President No.1 Brisbane Battalion, Noel Pinkerton, was recognised as Queensland Leader of the Year.  It is interesting to note that Noel has succeeded Rod as the event-co-ordinator of the State Soapbox Derby.  Lindon Pyle, an Officer in the 1st Ipswich Company was awarded Young Leader of the Year in recognition of his service on the Leadership team, taking up co-ordination of the Leadership Training Weekends and his Company work.  Daniel Garlick (3rd Pine Rivers) received the peer-reviewed Leadership Award of Excellence. 

Congratulations to each one.  We know that you do not serve in order to receive accolades such as these.  Nevertheless, it is appropriate to recognise and honour such exemplary service.  Scripture calls us to honour those who serve well even to “Let the elders who manage well be counted worthy of double honour …” (1st Timothy 5: 17).

Glengarry Open day

The Glengarry Open Day was a milestone day for all those involved with both the construction of the cabins and the extensions to the History and Memorabilia Centre.

Approximately 100 people came to join in the celebrations.

“The facilities are top notch. I was pleasantly surprised with the number of people who came and I also caught up with others that I haven’t seen for a long time. I am very glad I came down from Gympie for the day. ” Mr Max Gray, Former BB Australia President and Founder of PA Camps.

 “It worked very well and very quickly became a reunion of old friends as well as achieving a closure for all concerned involved with the work done so far.” Keith and Barbara Young,

It was a pleasure to attend and see your wonderful facilities. I enjoyed my chats with some of the many people who attended.”  Irene James, Atkinson District Commissioner, Scouts Qld.

These are just some of the comments received about this day. The official opening was carried out by our special guests, Mr Shayne Neumann MP, Federal Member for Blair, and Cr Dan Hall, Deputy Mayor, Somerset Regional Council. Both were very impressed with the standard of the facilities at Glengarry. Mr Neumann is also an “old boy” of 5th Ipswich Company so it was a great pleasure to have him in attendance on this day. Cr Hall was very interested to hear of the mission of BB and the vision for Glengarry. He spent some time viewing all that of the displays including a selection of the ANZAC “They Enlisted at My Age” projects.

The opening ceremony also saw the presentations of Certificates of Appreciation to Ross and Rhonda Rippingale, Keith Young and Wilson Kelly for all their work.

Guests were impressed with the quality of finish and facilities in the cabins. Everyone who viewed the History and Memorabilia Centre was quite amazed with the standard of the display about the early years of BB. Full credit must go to Keith Young and Wilson Kelly for the work they have done in this facility. If you were unable to join us for the day you might like to arrange a time to take your company for a day visit and find out the interesting history of BB in Queensland and Australia. Better still why not make it a company weekend camp and arrange to view the display as part of your program.

There was also a display of construction of the campsite from the commencement of the Sports Hall through to the completion of the new cabins. A number of boys are also in the process of compiling a history of Glengarry as their projects for the BB Knowledge Badge.

Thank you to all who contributed to a truly memorable day. We also say thank you to all the volunteers who have given of their time, energy and expertise to carry out the construction and for providing the first class facilities that will benefit young Queenslanders for years to come.