Boys’ and Girls’ Brigades Reception and presentation of Queen’s Badges/Awards
Boys’ Brigade Queensland State President, Mr Gordon Wallace OAM; Executive Chairman, Mr Jason Knight; Girls’ Brigade Queensland State Commissioner, Mrs Cindy-Lee Robertson; Distinguished guests; Award recipients; Ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and to any First Nations people with us this evening.
As patron of both the Boys’ Brigade and the Girls’ Brigade in Queensland, I congratulate each of today’s recipients on the successful completion of the Queen’s Badge or Queen’s Award, and thank their families, friends and Brigade leaders for the support and encouragement they have provided.
It is a significant achievement which will give you skills for life.
Wherever the future takes you, your commitment to your Christian faith and to the mission and vision of the Brigades will help ensure the highest standard in all your undertakings, whether it be in further study, at work, in family life, as a citizen, or in your service for others.
Many changes have occurred in the Brigade movement since Sir William Alexander Smith established the first Boys’ Brigade company in Glasgow 140 year ago, and since Margaret Lyttle founded the first ever group for girls in Ireland in 1893, but the strong Christian focus of both Brigades has remained unchanged.
We see it in the anchor which Smith included as a core element of the Boys’ Brigade badge design and in its motto: “sure and steadfast”, each of them an ever-present reminder of the inspiration Smith found in the Epistle to the Hebrews.
In the Girls’ Brigade badge, we see it in the Christian symbolism of the lamp, the cross, the circle, the torch and, particularly, in the flame representing God’s love shining out to others.
Smith’s vision of the Boys’ Brigade included a commitment to ensuring that young people experience life to the full in keeping with John, Chapter 10, Verse 10: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly”.
That exhortation to “live life abundantly” is a wonderful guide for all Brigadiers – not in the sense of pursuing material abundance, excess or extravagance, but as an encouragement to live a life enriched by faith, generosity, compassion, service and Christian love.
I congratulate you once again on your achievement and wish you well in your future endeavours.