BACKGROUND HISTORY OF STEDFAST ASSOCIATION

Before the 1983 Centenary Year of The Boys’ Brigade there were (and indeed continue to be) many individual ‘Old Boys’ groups scattered throughout The B.B. world. These groups operate without any formal recognition and have been mostly associated with the particular Company Unit of which the Old Boys have been former members.

This changed with the formation in 1983 of the Federation of Stedfast Associations (United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland) and the formal recognition of the latter by The Boys’ Brigade National Executive Committee.

Many members now have dual membership of their own local Old Boys’ Associations and with their local area Stedfast Association.

A typical Stedfast Association has three main aims :-

(a) to keep former members informed of the activities of The Boys’ Brigade;
(b) to provide support for today’s B.B.;
(c) to provide a forum for social activity and fellowship amongst its members and friends (including current adult members of The B.B.).


OVERSEAS

Stedfast Associations are also in operation in Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and Uganda.


THE STEDFAST ASSOCIATION (N.I.)

The Association was formed in 1993 and meets on bi-monthly Thursday evenings (7.45 p.m. - 9.45 p.m.) in the halls of Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Agnes Street off the Crumlin Road, Belfast.

Its primary social event is its Annual Dinner attended by members and friends when it is joined by members of the Stedfast Association from the Republic of Ireland. The Association represents the main body of Old Boys at the Belfast Battalion’s Annual Parade Service attended by over 700 B.B. members from throughout the Greater Belfast Area.

In addition to the Association’s activities constituent members hold a variety of events including visits to local places of interest, annual Church Services, activity evenings and an inter-Old Boys’ Association annual competition and social event.

Pastoral and other support is given to Stedfast members and their families at times of illness and bereavement.

The Association is open to former members and current serving adults of The Boys’ Brigade (males and females) and of like Organisations.


CONSTITUTION

A copy of the Association’s Constitution is available on request.

THE OBJECT AND AIMS OF THE STEDFAST ASSOCIATION (NORTHERN IRELAND)

The OBJECT of the Association is to further the Object of The Boys’ Brigade and to foster a spirit of comradeship between past and present members and to render service to others.

The primary AIMS of the Association are :-
(i) to provide a network to maintain and to develop inter-member friendships;
(ii) to provide social activities for its members;
(iii) to support the work of The Boys’ Brigade;
(iv) to contribute to the work of other appropriate Organisations;
(v) to offer opportunities for its members to serve in voluntary roles.


VOLUNTEERS

All the work of the Stedfast Association (Northern Ireland) is carried out by Volunteers whose input is sought, for example, in ~
• carrying out duties and responsibilities as Office Bearers;
• assisting in the general running of the Association;
• providing support for the on-going development of The Boys’ Brigade Heritage
Centres at B.B. House in May Street and at the Ganaway Residential and Activity
Centres in the Ards Peninsula;
• supporting the Centre staff at the B.B. Recreation Centre in South Belfast in carrying out maintenance and supervising duties.


VOLUNTEER POLICY

The Volunteer Policy of the Association (available on request) includes the following provisions :-

“The Association seeks to carry out its aims using fair procedures that ensure that no Association member or Volunteer receives less favourable treatment on grounds of age, gender, ethnicity, disability or personal beliefs.

The Association recognises that a sound membership base with Volunteers willing to undertake administrative and other roles is essential to its well-being, its programmes and its operations. This may be manifested in a variety of capacities such as serving as .....
• Committee Members
• Office Bearers
• Events Organisers
• Health and Welfare Visitors.

The Association aims to give its Volunteers beneficial and meaningful responsibilities, effective supervision and recognition for work done. Volunteers are expected to perform their duties to the best of their abilities. Volunteers serving the Association are expected to be loyal to its aims and vision.

Before a Volunteer is assigned or appointed to a position, the Association will satisfy itself that he / she is suitable for and interested in the position in question. This process will provide the Organisation’s Leaders with the opportunity to learn more above prospective Volunteers and to give the latter the opportunity to learn more about the Organisation.

All Volunteers will receive a general overview of the Volunteer work to be undertaken. Through a process of initiation Volunteers will receive instructions and / or orientation to provide them with the information and skills necessary to perform their Volunteer responsibilities”.

TO JOIN THE STEDFAST ASSOCIATION (NORTHERN IRELAND) or for enquiries about Volunteer opportunities please contact Boys’ Brigade House

THE OLD BOYS’ UNION

The B.B. Old Boys’ Union was formed in 1927 and is the parent body which all Old Boys’ Associations must join if they wish to participate in any Sport run by the Union.

In the past the Union had Cricket, Table-Tennis, Bowls, Darts and Snooker played but the main Sport currently being played is Soccer.

Anyone interested in joining the Old Boys’ Union Leagues should contact Boys’ Brigade House.