The Boys’ Brigade was the first voluntary uniformed youth movement in the world. The Boys’ Brigade was founded by Sir William Alexander Smith in Glasgow, Scotland on the 4th of October 1883 while the Girls’ Brigade was founded in 1893 in Dublin, Ireland.
The Brigade is built upon two pillars – Religion and Discipline. The Object of the Boys’ Brigade is the advancement of Christ kingdom among boys and the promotion of habits of obedience, reverence, discipline, self-respect and all that tends towards a true Christian manliness. The Aim of the Girls’ Brigade is to help girls become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ and through self-control, reverence and a sense of responsibility to find true enrichment of life. The Brigade of All Saints’ Ang Church Surulere is structured to fulfil these objectives. The motto of the Brigade is Sure and Steadfast.
The Boys’ Brigade in All Saints’ Anglican Church Surulere was founded in 1975. The first captain of our Boys’ Brigade (“the Brigade”) was Captain Okongwu. Captain Okongwu’s era saw a great development in our Brigade in particular in the area of grooming the junior section boys and the band department. Captain Okongwu was succeeded by Captain Iheanacho who continued the good work started by his predecessor. Notable amongst his achievements was the inclusion of the company parade night in the activities of the company. Captain Iheanacho handed over the baton to Captain Anthony Ajero (now Rev. Canon). Captain Ajero built upon the solid foundation of his predecessors and enriched the activities of the company. During his tenure, the band corps was expanded to include a standardised orchestra, the first of its kind in the Brigade in Nigeria.
The current captain is Captain Frederick Ichekwai who is presently taking the company to the next heights and has brought about creative programs in our programming schedules to engage the younger ones and bring out the best in them. Just after he commenced his term, he organised an exchange program for the Brigade in concert with a like-mind Captain of All Saints Anglican Church Yaba to the Republic of Ghana in 2010. A similar exchange was recently concluded when the Ghanaians visited Nigeria in 2016.
The Girls’ Brigade was introduced to our church in the 90’s and its first captain was Lady Olive Nwogu who championed the course of discipline amongst girls, a trademark noticed amongst the girls that were under her tutelage. She handed over to her successor, Lady Esther Ofoneme who is also currently the Captain and who has continued to build upon the landmarks set.
Every Brigade Company is assigned a number and attached to a Battalion or District and so our Boys’ Brigade is the 5th Surulere Company of Surulere Battalion Council while our Girls’ Brigade is the 10th Surulere Company, District 5 Girls’ Brigade.
Our membership is open to the public who are ready and willing to be disciplined. The Company meets every Saturday at 4pm at the Teenage Church Hall. Our activities and programmes are centred around building the perfect boy/girl and ensuring that our members have a balance in all facets of life. Our programmes are structured to attend to their everyday needs by reaching out to them - spiritually, financially, academically, socially and mentally.
The ranks in the Girls’ Brigade are as follows:
|Explorer||1 - 7 years|
|Junior girls||8 - 11 years|
|Senior girls||12 – 14 years|
|Brigadier||15 – 18 years|
Officers in the Girls’ Brigade must not be less than 18 years of age. However, promotion to the rank of officer in the Girls’ Brigade is based more on having attended at least 2 officer training camps in addition to attendance, participation and contribution to the Brigade activities.
The ranks for the Boys’ Brigade are as follows:
- Junior section
- Company section
- Senior Boys/NCO’s
Promotion to the Officers’ cadre in the Boys’ Brigade is same as that for the Girls’ Brigade; upon completion of the basic Officers Training course and contribution to the activities of the Brigade and attendance.
Various training sessions are held in the course of the year for our members with the assistance of the church; some of our members are always sent to participate in such training where they are equipped to function as leaders.
Our enrollment, rededication and thanksgiving services are held every third Sundays in September except where for reasons beyond the control of the company, such date is not feasible.
The Brigade as constituted now is headed by the Captains – Barr Frederick Ichekwai for the Boys’ Brigade and Lady Esther Ofoneme for the Girls’ Brigade. They are ably assisted in the discharge of their duties by a team of Lieutenants, Officers, Brigadiers and Non-Commissioned Officers.