Dedication name of the game for long-serving Buckie BB officers
Get a digital copy of the Grampian Group editions delivered straight to your inbox every week
FIVE Buckie Boys’ Brigade officers have racked up an incredible combined length of service of over 250 years.
Exemplifying the proud Buckie tradition of service to others and to the community, the quintet have a stunning 265 years with the organisation between them ranging back to the mid-1950s.
Company Captain Alan McIntosh and his wife Jenny have 100 years between them as do Grant and Catherine Stewart. Perhaps the longest serving member of the Company is junior section leader Gordon Pirie, who has an amazing 65 years with the Brigade under his belt, having joined up as a Lifeboy in 1955.
Captain McIntosh said: “I’m very proud to see the levels of dedication put in by BB officers and helpers.
“This always has been a team effort and everybody has to play a part for it to work.
“It’s remarkable that in this day and age there are around 200 boys in the Company, which is the biggest in the UK. There are around 70 to 80 boys in the Company section, and a further 60 or 70 on the Anchor Boy and Junior sections.
“A lot of this is down to the fact that we have got programmes in place for all the age groups which is specifically appropriate to the boys’ age, ability, needs and interest.
“This takes a lot of work and we couldn’t do it without the 43 adult officers and helpers we have registered with us.”
Since the Company was formed back in 1947 it has faced many challenges, but the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has brought with it those which could never have been anticipated.
“We’re looking at getting up and running again later in October, regulations allowing,” Captain McIntosh continued.
“At the moment we can only take about 30 boys at a time so we’re having to rethink our sessions and stagger them.
“In terms of the Company section, we’ll be looking at prioritising new recruits and those boys who are doing their Queen’s and President’s Badges.
“There’s a lot up in the air at the moment, so we’ll just have to see how things develop with the Covid regulations.”
Despite the ravages of the pandemic on normal life over the last few months, Captain McIntosh went on to praise the support of the local community.
“We are hugely fortunate to enjoy the backing of the local community.
“We’ve had great support from the South and West Church [the Company’s base] and, like the community as a whole, they’ve been completely behind us.
“The Company is also very lucky to have around 20 to 30 local sponsors behind it and last year we had a turnover of £50,000 between fund-raisers and other sources.
“It has been a disappointing year in many ways because of the lockdown, the boys haven't been out and about at events as they usually would due to Covid. The summer is an especially busy time for them with events like the Six Harbour Walk, the annual visitto Ballindalloch and the Portsoy Festival just a few of the regular events they attend, plus, of course, the Christmas Kracker in November.
“While Covid may have imposed severe restrictions on us as it has with everyone else, we’re still very much at the heart of the community.”
Over the next few weeks the Advertiser will be sharing the stories of these five dedicated officers both in the paper and at www.grampianonline.co.uk
Read more local news here.