Mearns Probus Club

President Malcolm McCoig welcomed 28 members to the meeting of Monday May 18, held in the Crown Inn, Laurencekirk at 10.30am.

There were apologies for absence from Ian Davidson, Sandy Jeffrey, Albert Smith, Bill Pirie, Charlie Scott, Stewart Craig and Jim Warden.

Before the Minutes of the previous Meeting were read, club member Richard V Slicker made a plea to all present to save or collect any specimens of paper with water marks as they were now becoming a rarity especially as the Tullis Russell paper mill in Fife had recently announced its closure.

Minutes of the Meeting of 4th May, 2015 were read by the Secretary, and approved by the members. The Speaker – The President then introduced Mrs Evelyn Dickson as the speaker and her topic was The Boys Brigade which was established on October 4, 1883,

The founder was William Alexander Smith, born in Thurso who moved to Glasgow and he held the first meetings in his own house.

Within a short time there were 12 companies in Glasgow, three in Edinburgh and three in England. There were also some in Canada. By 1888, W A Smith became full time Secretary.

In 1887, Queen Victoria’s Jubilee year, there was a procession in London with 750 Companies of the Boys Brigade, 2800 Officers, 35,000 boys and 27,000 from the USA. In July 1909, William A Smith was knighted by Edward VII.

He died on May 10, 1914 and Founder’s Day is the last Sunday in October.

The Boys Brigade were formed 25 years before the Boy Scouts under Baden Powell. In 1933 at the Golden Jubilee in Hampden Park there were 112,000 Boys Brigade and 52 Life Boys. In 1966 the Life Boys were disbanded and became the Junior Section of the Boys Brigade.