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Friday 22 June 2012 at 12:18 pm.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Gen 1:1, NKJV)

Shortly after that, 2nd KL was founded.

Well, okay...  There were a few events in between.  hahaha

First, all the events as laid out in the Bible happened.  No, we do not accept arguments to the contrary, for Faith is the opposite of Science.  Science is the establishment of fact, by means of experiments that can be repeated, with consistent results.  Faith is the belief in something without established fact, because only a fool would not believe established fact.  Faith itself is not foolish.  It allows those who have yet to prove themselves to demonstrate their worth, and encourages them to greater efforts.  Therefore faith, in the best sense of the word, is allowing you to be better than your current self.  Don't ever waste someone else's faith in you.  This must suffice for now, as the discussion on Faith and Science requires a seriously lengthy article in itself.

Second, a visionary man named William Alexander Smith (WAS, later knighted Sir William in July 1909) was born in the house of Pennyland a half-mile from Thurso, on the 27th day of October, 1854.  Sir William was born to a family with a tradition of soldiering.  In early 1868, Sir William lost his father; and so Mrs. Smith put the Pennyland property up for sale, and WAS moved to Glasgow in October the same year.  In 1873, WAS joined "C" Company in the 1st Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers (1LRV).  Sir William joined the College & Kelvingrove United Free Church in 1874, and was in the same month appointed Lance-Corporal in 1LRV.  WAS became a teacher at the church's Mission Hall Sunday School, in North Woodside Road, Glasgow, a few months after he joined the church.  He made Sergeant in 1876, and commissioned Lieutenant to "L" Company in 1877.

In the Sunday School, most of the classes were attended by boys who were undisciplined and uninterested in schooling.  Then one day, Sir William found the answer to the situation -- "Discipline and esprit-de-corps."  And thus set in motion culminating in the founding of The Boys' Brigade in the form of 1st Glasgow Coy on the 4th day of October, 1883.  Sir William's idea was revolutionary at that time -- that it was good and natural for boys to be alive, full of energy, high spirits and love of fun; that boys should be expected to damage things and annoy people; that in fact, these things that were natural in boys were an asset, and a great asset at that!

The original programmes run by 1 Glasgow were limited to drill, gymnastics and games.  1 Glasgow attracted 59 Boys to join.  To the dismay of some, in the BB discipline is strictly observed.  Boys were not allowed to fall in if they were even one minute late.  If a Boy was absent two weeks running, they were no longer considered members.  The local boys were no happier, as the gangs they were part of saw the BB as a threat.  Many running fights ensued in the coming days, some of which the BB won and some lost.  All this culmulated with the two sides declaring a truce, and the BB held their heads with pride as a force to be respected.  Of the Boys, 35 made it to the enrolment ceremony and stayed.

In the following years, the uniform was introduced -- the rosettes, forage caps, haversacks and leather belt.  This eventually evolved to the uniforms we see today, with variations around the world.  The Officers still wear rosettes in their glengarries, the leather belt is still in use in most cases, but the forage caps have been replaced by field service caps, and the haversacks now are decorative rather than functional.

The Boys' Brigade grew and grew in the subsequent years, inspiring the founding of many uniformed youth organisations, of which our closest brother is the Scouting Movement.  In fact, Sir William and Lord Baden Powell were both part of The BB and The Boy Scouts for some time.  Sir William was first Honorary, then full-time Secretary to The Brigade, from 1885 to 1914.  The Scouts Founder, Lord Baden Powell was an BB Officer before he founded the Movement.  It was in 1886, in Tighnabruaich ("Ta-i-na-bru-e", more or less) that Lord BP introduced the Boys (and the world) to recreational camping.  More about the First Camp elsewhere.

In 1915, The Boys' Brigade appeared in Asia for the first time -- in Swatow, China, founded by Rev. Guthrie Gamble.

From China, The BB spread to South-East Asia 15 years later, with the formation of the 1st Singapore Company, founded by Mr. James Fraser.

In 1917, The Boys' Reserves started, for Boys between 9-12 years.

More years passed before The BB took another hop, and landed in Penang, Malaysia on the 20th day of July, 1946, with the formation of the 1st Penang Company, founded by a British soldier, Mr. Robert Gordon Davis.  1st Penang's first Company Captain was 42 year-old Mr. Geh Hun Kheng, a church elder and the Principal of the Anglo Chinese Primary School.

From Penang, The BB took another small hop and came to Kuala Lumpur with the formation of 1st Kuala Lumpur Company under the Sponsorship of Wesley Methodist Church, Kuala Lumpur, in 1954.

2nd Kuala Lumpur Company was formed 3 years later under the sponsorship of Grace Methodist Church Sentul with 40 Boys on the 26th August 1957.

Our Protem OC was:

  • Captain Cedric Park
  • Chaplain Rev Wong Hoon Hee
  • Lieutenant Peter Harvey
  • Lieutenant Robert Cheong

Here's the link to our previous website (blog): http://2ndklbb.blogspot.com

Further reading:

  1. First For Boys - Donald McFarlan
  2. Pioneer of Boyhood - Roger S Peacock
  3. The Story of The Boys' Brigade - Austin E Birch
  4. William A. Smith of The Boys' Brigade - FP Gibbon

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