The recently selected president of the Boys Brigade Island Council in Antigua, Nuffield Burnette, is calling on parents and guardians to demonstrate an interest in their sons joining the organisation which is affiliated with churches across the island.
“We are an inter-denominational group, so it is not any particular church. It is not a Pentecostal movement or a Moravian movement. It is an interdenominational movement. So whichever church you are affiliated with it does not hinder or bar you from becoming a member. You just have to have the interest of coming and we hope we will get you to be interested in joining and thereafter you will hook up with the company nearest to you and we will take it from there. We start from as early as five years old,” he said.
The Boys Brigade is one of the world’s oldest international inter-denominational Christian Youth Organisations. Burnette said its objective is “advancement of Christ Kingdom among boys, and the promotion of habits of obedience, reverence, discipline, self-control and all that tends towards a true Christian manliness.“
The president said anyone looking around in the society would understand the importance of teaching boys these things in an effort to improve and preserve generations to come.
He said the group plans to embark on a massive recruitment drive next month, after marking Boys Brigade Week, with the hope of increasing membership numbers considering it has been dwindling over the years.
The Boys Brigade is divided into four sections: the Anchor section which caters for ages five to eight; the Junior section of nine to 11 years; then 11 to 15 group which is called the Company Section; and the Seniors 15 to 18 group.
The Boys Brigade was founded by Sir William Alexander Smith in October 1883 to combine drill and fun activities with Christian values. Its motto is “Sure and Steadfast“.
Burnette was selected as the President of the Boy’s Brigade Island Council in late December 2018.
The retired police superintendent’s pledge is to “bring some new perspective to the movement by unleashing some ideas which I already have.”
He thanked the Island Council for placing in him trust and confidence to lead after the “esteemed men who have gone before me.”