Federation of Stedfast Associations
United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland
ISSUE NO. 9 August 2006
After his break for the last issue, our Chairman Paul Juby is now back with us this
month, and has contributed the following article – which begins with some very good
We give a very warm welcome to our Brothers and Sisters of the London
Stedfast Association ("the LSA"). This fine Association will indeed add
greatly to our Federation. We shall benefit not only from their fellowship but
also from their experience and their willingness to work for the overall
advancement of Stedfast.
We shall be able to exchange ideas, visit events, and the future with London
should be historically good! It will no doubt take a little time to see the
benefits of having the LSA within our fellowship but we can be assured that
the Federation is now more of a complete family. Our hopes and aspirations to
spread Stedfast to every BB centre in the UK will I am sure be helped with the
addition of the LSA. We look forward to having their members at our
meetings and also to attending LSA special occasions. Welcome London!
The Borneo Mountain Climb
God willing, I shall be leading the fourth sponsored climb of Mount Kinabalu
(14,500 feet) in June 2008. All funds go directly to "BB Asia" for the
extension of the Brigade in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and
Cambodia. We expect a good number to climb from Hong Kong, Malaysia
and Singapore. I am looking to our Federation members to consider that big
step to join me in the climb! Wives are welcome as climbers or to relax in a
chosen hotel for the three days their husbands are climbing!
This will be a greater event than usual as we are timing the climb to be either
directly before or directly after the BB Malaysia's Triennial Festival which
will be held that year in that State and probably attended by up to 2000 Boys
and Officers. During the 3-4 days of events there will be their National Band,
Drill, Singing contests, a Gospel Rally and other good happenings, the Festival
is worth going to see even if there wasn‟t a climb! You may think that 2008 is
a long way off, but there is a need to book guides and accommodation
including at the 11,000 foot "Rest House on the Rocks" a year or more ahead.
E-mail me or ring me at (01493) 369135 NOW!
Extension and Development
We welcome Elizabeth Smith as our Development Officer. Already Elizabeth
is looking into the possibility of using Internet sources to publicise the
Federation. We would greatly value ideas and suggestions from individual
members through “FedNews” on the best ways to interest former members of
the Brigade to join us. Every Stedfast member can play a key part in helping
make us real do-ers! Everyone who reads “FedNews” is important to us, and
so please put on your thinking caps and tell us how we can extend Stedfast for
the benefit of the Federation and the BB. Please contact our Editor Phillip, or
Elizabeth or myself. Don't be a "Pew-sitter", be a Mover!
I will be away from 24 November to 11 December on a visit to Malaysia. My
BB/Stedfast schedule includes:
Klang Methodist Church: Preaching by invitation of the Pastor who is one of
my old Boys, and a re-union dinner with old Boys and Officers Meeting with
Kuala Lumpur Stedfast President Michael Yei and members. Travelling to
North Malaysia to Sungai Petani where I started the lst Company. Meeting
with Officers and Boys of the three Companies. Then to the Thai border at
Bukit Kaki to meet a Pastor Lim who is interested in starting a BB Company -
this visit is subject to political conditions as there is the possibility of unrest.
Back to Sungai Petani for an old Boys re-union and just a chance of forming a
Stedfast. Then to Penang and a possible meeting with Stedfast members.
Paul Juby National Chairman
I would as usual like to thank Paul for these words and wish him God speed on
his travels. I am sure that we will hear more about them, either before or
Those of you who were at the Annual General Meeting at Ganaway, Northern Ireland
will recall that we were very pleased to have as one of our guests the Brigade
President, the Very Revd. Professor Alan Main. I am pleased to include as our next
article the following piece written by the President.
An Appreciation of Stedfast Associations
Until coming back into " active service" again in the Boys' Brigade as the new
President last October I have to confess to having just about no knowledge of
Over the years I did hear from time to time of "old boy networks" that seemed
to operate loosely here and there around the country. But, how that picture has
changed for me over these past months! Not only have I been receiving on a
regular basis magazines and publications produced by local Stedfast
Associations, but also invitations to Association gatherings, and most recently,
to the Annual General Meeting of the Federation of Stedfast Associations,
United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, held at the Ganaway Centre in
There it was a real joy to meet and make the acquaintance of so many
committed members, "old boys" perhaps in chronological age but young,
vibrant and enormously enthusiastic still about the Brigade. It was a tonic
indeed to experience that spirit and to see what a growingly important role the
Stedfast Associations can play in support of the future role of The Boys'
And this is so not only of the work in our cold Northern climes but also, as I
learned this past week, in far flung corners of the globe, for example in
Malaysia, whose Stedfast Newsletter arrived on my desk and which tells of a
flourishing Stedfast Organisation, supporting a healthily growing Boys'
Brigade. All this I find most encouraging and really good news - and I simply
wanted to write this short article to pay sincere tribute to all who continue to
maintain their involvement with our great Movement through the medium of
the Stedfast Associations. I would like to offer you all my grateful thanks;
your contribution is greatly appreciated.
Alan Main, Brigade President
I would like to say on your behalf what a pleasure it was to meet Professor
Main at the Annual General Meeting, and to also be able to include this article
here. I am sure that this contact will continue for a long time.
Those of you who were at the 2005 Annual General Meeting at Kirkham will
remember that we were pleased to welcome our then Brigade President and his wife,
John and Nan Neil. Sadly, I have to tell you that Nan died on 20 June following a long
battle against cancer. Robert Cooper has contributed this in memory of Nan.
“It was with much sadness that I learned in June that Nan Neil, Honorary Vice-
President of The Boys‟ Brigade and beloved wife of John Neil OBE, the Brigade
Honorary President had died.
Federation members will recall that Nan and John joined us at Kirkham on the
occasion of the Federation AGM of 2005 and that Nan was appointed an Honorary
Vice President of the Brigade shortly afterwards. A number of us had occasion to
meet with John and Nan in other aspects of BB work and we were well aware of
Nan‟s outstanding contribution to The Boys Brigade.
I had only known Nan for a very short time, but in that period I came to recognise in
her the qualities of a fine Christian Lady, a loving wife, and devoted mother and
John was indeed fortunate to have Nan by his side in their years of service to The
Boys' Brigade and the award of the OBE to John in 1996 was really in recognition of
a family partnership in the name of The Boys‟ Brigade. However, we were delighted
to share in Nan‟s joy when such signal service was recognised in her appointment as
Honorary Vice President of The Boys' Brigade.
We extend to John and the members of his family our deepest condolences at this sad
time. We are aware of the very great love which has permeated the family and we
share with them our great sorrow at the loss of Nan.”
Robert M Cooper, Federation Secretary
Thank you Robert; our thoughts have been with John and his family since we heard
As we all know, our Annual General Meeting for 2006 has been and gone, and we are
now looking forward to next year‟s meeting, under it‟s new title - the Federation
Council Meeting - which will take us to another new venue: Dublin!
Our hosts have written with the following early information:
The Federation Council Meeting for 2007 will be held on Saturday 12th May 2007
and will be hosted by the Republic of Ireland Stedfast Association. Plans are well
advanced for a weekend of fellowship commencing on Friday evening. Please put the
date in your diary NOW. If any members are interested in combining the weekend‟s
activities with a short break, let me know and we can help with your planning. Full
details of the weekend‟s activities will be issued shortly.
Telephone: +353 1 296 4622
Fax: +353 1 2962079
Thank you, Philip; I am sure that it will be a very good weekend …. it‟s in my diary
You will know that the Northern Ireland Stedfast Association has agreed to host the
2008 International Convention of Stedfast Associations in Belfast. The Convention
will begin with a Church Parade on Sunday 5 October and will end on Saturday 11
October 2008. The Convention Dinner will be held on Friday 10 October 2008.
More information will be sent to everyone as and when it is available.
Now, we have an article by our Secretary, who is concerned with three things that
concern every Secretary – namely Communication, Communication, Communication!
The Secretary Writes
There is an unfortunate hiatus between the AGM and the start of the new session and
it is all too easy for us to forget the decisions of the AGM and frequently a new
session gets under way forgetful of the commitments expected of each affiliated
One of the more important decisions taken at the AGM was to make an effort to
ensure that each member in each association had access to a copy of “FedNews”.
Towards this end, each association is now sent 10 copies in the expectation that every
association will ensure that each member sees and reads every edition. Now surely
this is not a difficult thing to accomplish and there are many ways of achieving it.
Secretaries can either pass the ten copies with a list of members names attached to
each for circulation. Alternatively each association can make a number of photocopies
to provide one for each member. On a personal level, in order to create wider interest
in the Federation I make six copies and pass these round the interested members of
my own congregation. The feedback makes the exercise worthwhile.
Now I am quite sure that Issue No 8 (May 2006) is still lying among some papers in
the home of a number of secretaries and no attempt has been made to make it
available to members. This is discourteous to our Editor and also to those who write
the copy for each edition. I am sorry if that seems reprimanding but there is a lot of
evidence to suggest that that is the case.
We regret that “FedNews” cannot match the expensive publications of other Stedfast
Associations. We simply don‟t have the resources to have it professionally produced
in colour and with photographs but there is no doubt that the content can match any
other Stedfast publication. It is very well received by Stedfast members world-wide.
Many have written to praise the content and the work of our enthusiastic Editor,
So what do I, as Federation Secretary, ask of each Association Secretary when this
edition arrives through the post?
1. I ask that they ensure that all members have access to each edition of “FedNews” –
not just a glance of it for a few minutes at an association meeting, but given a real
opportunity to take it home, read at leisure and then pass it on.
2. That they encourage members to contribute to the content of “FedNews”. This is
not difficult to do but it takes a degree of interest and a modicum of enthusiasm. Tell
us what happens in your association – because quite simply we don‟t know what your
association is doing - and we all can learn from each other.
At the AGM, in preparation for the new session I asked each association to let me
have an up-to-date list of Office Bearers. Disappointingly several Associations have
failed to respond and consequently our records are incomplete and in some cases
inaccurate. I am sure that members will agree that for any administrator there is
nothing worse that working from an incomplete or inaccurate address list. Since a
number of associations have held their AGM‟s since May, it is necessary for us to
make a further check. Eddie McClure, our Assistant Secretary, will shortly be
checking on this with each association. Please give him every co-operation to
complete this very important task.
While we have no desire to be awash with funds our bank balance is such that we are
being prevented from doing some of the things we are anxious to do. With only 15
affiliated associations in membership we cannot expect to ask associations to
contribute more than they can afford. There is no easy way of increasing our income.
While some associations struggle to make ends meet, we are aware of a number that
are comparatively well off. Consequently the AGM agreed unanimously to keep the
annual subscription at £35 per association BUT to ask associations to voluntarily
increase this sum in accordance with their ability, up to a maximum of £75. This
proposal was well received at the AGM and those present were confident that this was
a very reasonable proposal. We are grateful to the associations that have already
complied with this proposal and consequently I would ask association Treasurers to
give consideration to this matter as soon as possible? The affiliation fees for 2006 are,
in many cases, overdue.
Now I am well aware that there will be some members who will say „What are we
getting for our money?‟ There can be no doubt that this is a question to which the
answer is often dependent on the attitude of the enquirer. Those who made the effort
to attend the AGM in Belfast enjoyed a wonderful weekend of Boys‟ Brigade
hospitality simply because Sam Crothers, as Secretary, and the members of the
Northern Ireland Steadfast Association gave of their best without counting the cost or
the effort involved. They demonstrated true Christian Fellowship, which must surely
be our aim as a Federation.
The next AGM, which will be referred to as the Federation Council, takes place in
Dublin in May of 2007. Please give attendance your serious consideration. We feel
certain that the members of the Republic of Ireland Stedfast Association are planning
a good weekend for us. (Editors Note: see earlier note for advance information.)
Finally, the 6th International Convention of Stedfast Associations will be held in
Belfast in October 2008. Initial details can be found earlier in this issue and more will
follow, but in the meantime we trust that very many members from the UK will mark
the event in their diaries and resolve to be present. It is anticipated that many very
experienced Stedfast Association members from around the world will be attending.
May I conclude by wishing each association a very successful session.
Bob Cooper, Federation Secretary
Still on the theme of “Communication, Communication, Communication”, you will
recall, I‟m sure, that we have for some while been trying to set up a Federation
Website. Ron Adshead, our Vice Chairman, has written this article to tell everyone
where we are with this very important matter, and to ask us all a question:
Do You Know About Your Federation‟s Web Site?
I would first of all like to tell you of a wonderfully talented person. His name
is Greig Scott (a Scotsman true and true). He happens to also be a member of
the 1st St. Johnstone Stedfast Association, which is affiliated to the Federation
Now you will surely realise that one of the aims of our Federation is to
become as efficient and modern as possible in this ever-changing world. Well
over two years ago your office bearers decided that we simply must have a
well designed website to enable us to let the world know of the Federation of
Stedfast Associations, UK and the Republic of Ireland. This matter was put to
the members at our very first AGM and everyone present was very agreeable.
The problem was who would design this for us and get it up and running. One
of our members very kindly agreed to see to this matter on behalf of The
Federation, but sadly after over two years of work on our behalf, could not
come to us with a complete site. The member concerned was, due to his
workload not able to meet our deadline, and unfortunately had to bow out.
Our Secretary (Bob Cooper) then learnt of Greig Scott and his talent for
designing and setting up websites for the Internet. He was approached on
behalf of The Federation, agreed to do this for us, and within just two months
came back to us with the website that we now have. So, quickly we were on
the World Wide Web. The site was up and running just in time for our last
A.G.M. held in Northern Ireland, and those who viewed it there were greatly
impressed. Greig also agreed to become the Federation Webmaster and will be
updating news, etc. as he receives it. The Federation are very grateful to Greig
for working so quickly on our behalf and we wish to record our grateful thanks
Sadly, though, there seems to be a bit of a problem. Since the website became
available to the world and up to the time of writing this article (mid-August)
only 181 people have bothered to log-in to the site. Additionally, only four
people have bothered to sign into the Guest Book (I was the last one on 18
May 2006). Other than Federation News the only other announcement on the
site is of the Manchester Stedfast Associations Founders Day Dinner this
This is really very insulting to Greig and to the Federation. It is really very
simple for anyone, with access a computer, to send news of what is happening
in your Association to the Webmaster. This is the very least that we should
be doing, so that the site becomes very newsworthy for the members of other
Associations and Stedfast Friends throughout the world.
Please have a look at our website, either on your own computer or through a
family member or friend. You may also access it at your public library. Then
please do think of contributing to the site with your news. I look forward with
great pleasure to reading many more newsworthy pieces in the near future.
Thank you for reading this; you will find the site on
Thank you Ron - and apologies, because I‟ve viewed the site and not signed the Guest
Book either; sorry!
Whilst talking about communication (etc), please don‟t forget that Individual
Membership of the Federation is available to all former members of the Brigade at £5
per year. This is open to anyone, but is principally aimed at people who do not have
an Association nearby, but want to remain in touch with what is happening in the
Stedfast family. Full details are available from any of the officers of the Federation.
Sadly, there were two errors in the last issue.
The first is that the wrong telephone number was included for David Kemp of the
London Stedfast Association Bugle Band. His correct contact details are
3 Groombridge Drive, Gillingham, Kent ME7 2QJ. Telephone (01634) 581649.
Secondly, we should have said that whilst we were in Ganaway for the Annual
General Meeting, we were invited to dinner as guests of the Northern Ireland Stedfast
Association and not the Belfast Stedfast Association.
“Down Memory Lane”
You will recall that I included an article in this section in the last issue on “A History
of “Will Your Anchor Hold”. The hymn means so much to me (and I know to many
of you) but I‟ve been taken to task by Arthur Priestly of Falkirk about whether it is
actually the Anthem of The Boys‟ Brigade.
Arthur, quite rightly, points out that WYAH doesn‟t actually mention the BB at all –
whereas there‟s at least one other that does, namely “Underneath The Banner”.
Another contender could be The Vesper Hymn “Great God Who Knowest All Our
Needs” and I remember that for the Centenary Year in 1983 a hymn was written
especially for the BB. I can‟t remember the title or the words to this, though – does
anyone know what they are, please?
The point of this is to ask you what you think should be regarded as the Anthem of
The Boys‟ Brigade. In addition, if someone would like to let me have an article (or
three) about the hymns mentioned above, I‟d be very pleased to include them in a
future issue of “FedNews”. You can contact me at the normal addresses - I look
forward to hearing from you.
News from the World-wide Family of Stedfast
The Stedfast Association in Kuala Lumpur have asked me to publicise their excellent
Website and Newsletter, which I take great pleasure in doing. Both can be seen on
www.stedfastkl.org.my. Michel Yei, the President of the Association has asked that if
anyone wants recognition for their activities, to contact him through the website or by
e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will do the rest.
We would offer our thanks and best wishes to Michael and his colleagues for this.
The Boys‟ Brigade Today
Reading my copy of the BB Gazette, I came across two articles which I thought
would be of interest to you.
The first is a report of the visit to Windsor Castle by the Boys‟ Brigade, the Girls‟
Brigade, the Scout Association, Girl Guiding and the St John Ambulance Brigade to
present birthday cards to HM the Queen on her 80th birthday in April.
The BB cards were presented by Christopher Benjamin of the 3rd Bromley Company
and Jay Antrobus of the 1st Enfield Company. These contained signatures from
members throughout the British Isles, and were accompanied by a certificate showing
that an oak tree had been planed in Windsor Great Park to commemorate the
The presentation was shown live on television, and the Brigade received very positive
publicity in the press. The two young men who represented the Brigade were a credit
to their companies and to the BB as a whole.
Both Christopher and Jay have written about their experiences on the day. Their
words can be found in the July issue of the Gazette, pages 66 & 67. A copy of the
message sent by the Brigade President is in the same issue, on the inside front page.
The second article is contained in the Brigade Announcements section on page 70,
and reports on the plans for the 125th Anniversary of the BB 2008. The following
have been planned so far:
A national Service of Thanksgiving, to be held in Glasgow Cathedral on Saturday 4
Companies are to be asked to carry out a “community challenge” in their areas during
The Children‟s Hospices Movement will be the chosen charity for the year;
Discussions are being held with the BBC about a “Songs of Praise” programme.
More details will be supplied on these and other events when they are available.
Incidentally, do you know that you can get the BB Gazette sent to you, even though
you may not be an active member of the BB? This can be done by enrolling as an
Associate Member of the BB, which currently costs £25 per year. BB Headquarters at
Felden Lodge can supply more details.
News from the Associations
We all know that the Stedfast Family is very active, and it is always a pleasure to
bring you news of what is happening around the country. I receive this information by
various means, but mainly by direct contact and through the Association‟s
I continue to be grateful to all the Associations for their permission to re-print (and,
where necessary, to abridge) these articles - thank you, everyone! I can‟t promise to
use all of the information I get, as often much of it is time dated and might be out of
date by the time I produce the next issue of “FedNews”. However, it‟s always useful
to have this information, and I would ask that you continue to send it to me. In
particular, if you would put me on your mailing list, I would be very grateful.
We have for some while been reporting on the progress being made with the
re-formed London Stedfast Association Brass Band. Terry Roper, the Convener, is
now a regular correspondent, and he has sent me this report to bring everyone up to
date on their first six months.
London Stedfast Association Brass Band: Half Yearly Report
Since the article in the Spring Issue of the Onlooker I am delighted to report excellent
progress for the Band.
We have now had six practice sessions attracting 22 different musicians to date,
culminating in our performances on Saturday 8th July at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
In the afternoon we played eight pieces before, and during, the LSA Thanksgiving
Service in the Chapel. We followed this by playing nine pieces at the evening
Beating the Retreat event.
I must confess that I was extremely nervous at this our first public engagement,
particularly as we were unable to field our full band due to last minute work
commitments and illnesses. However we received glowing compliments from LSA
members and BB Officers on both our playing and our appearance, which was very
Our playing owes everything to our Conductor Reg Moss who has worked tirelessly
over the past months trawling through the Band Library to find suitable pieces of
music and putting us through our paces. Our appearance owes everything to our LSA
Secretary John Bates, and LSA member Eric Haysom, who devised, produced, and
fitted, the Brass Band Banners and advertising board.
Our next scheduled performance is at Wesley‟s Chapel on Saturday 7th October where
we will be giving a „Concert for Denis‟ a concert to honour the memory of the late,
great, Conductor Denis Morley of BB Brass and Bugle fame. If it is successful, I hope
to make it into an Annual event. The incomparable Alan Watts, without whom the
Band‟s fortune would be the lesser due to the wonderful support he has extended to
us, will be the compere for this concert. We have taken this opportunity to invite the
LSA Bugle Band and some BB Staff Bugle Instructors to join us in this celebration of
Denis‟s life in the BB and they have graciously agreed to support us in the Concert.
We are also attempting to arrange a joint venture with the LSA Bowls Section where
there is a possibility that we will be able to play on the Bandstand at Finsbury Circus
when the Bowls team play against a City of London Team. This should provide
excellent advertising for the LSA.
We have been invited to play in support of the London BB Bugle Band on their tour
of the North West of England between 21st and 25th October. We have also been
invited to support the BB National Brass Band at a concert and Church Service in
Halifax on 28th and 29th October. A few of us were able to take part in this Band‟s
weekend workshop at RAF Uxbridge in late April which introduced us to new friends
and whilst musically quite taxing it certainly was invigorating!
I am working to re establish our connection with the Royal Society for the Blind in
order that we may appear at Southwark Cathedral next year for their Annual Service.
Another lost connection is the playing of Christmas Carols around the Christmas Tree
in Trafalgar Square each year. I hope to re establish this annual engagement in due
I am pleased with the Band‟s progress thus far particularly with the demands for us to
appear at a variety of events including a Town Fete and a City of London Livery
Company‟s Garden Party. Unfortunately we cannot always fulfil these engagement
opportunities due to our limited numbers.
It follows therefore that we are extremely keen to see more former players join us.
Even if you haven‟t played a brass instrument for years please still join us. You will
be made very welcome and have no fear of embarrassment!
Terry Roper, LSA Brass Band Co-ordinator
We continue to offer Terry and his colleagues our best wishes. I am sure that if
anyone wants to go to the „Concert for Denis‟ in October, or take part in any of their
other activities Terry will be pleased to hear from you.
News in Brief……
Peter Whyte of the Reading Stedfast Association (and our first Chairman) provided
me with an article for the last issue about “The BB and Jane Austen”. Peter tells me
that they received a great deal of publicity for their erection of a Blue Plaque has been
unveiled commemorating Jane Austen‟s schooldays in Reading. I understand that the
event was televised on the local news and was featured in several newspapers. Peter
and the Association are looking at another plaque to commemorate another notable
Reading family, and he has promised to let me have more news soon.
We offer our congratulations to our friend Arthur Priestly of the Falkirk Stedfast
Association on his appointment as the Moderator of the Presbytery of Falkirk. Arthur,
who has been involved with the BB and latterly Stedfast for many years, has also been
a Stedfast member of Larbert West Church and the Presbytery since 1970.
Our next article concerns one of the recent visits by the Manchester Stedfast
The Manchester Stedfast Association‟s Visit to the Moravian Settlement,
During August some 40 members went on a visit to the local Moravian
Settlement situated in Fairfield some seven miles from Manchester city centre.
One of the members of the Settlement acted as their guide and first took them
into the Church (which is still very much used today). She explained the
history of the Settlement to them having been established in 1750. They were
shown a photograph of the original Church built upon settlement. It was
explained to the party the meaning of the Moravian Love Feast (what we call
Holy Communion), and the background to the Christingle Service (what we
call Carol Service).
The party then toured the houses in the Settlement Square, still lived in to this
day. They were shown where the Single Sisters lived, where the Single
Brothers lived and where the married couples resided. It was explained that
Sisters all wore the same Grey coloured Dress, with a pink ribbon if they were
single and a blue ribbon if they were married.
A visit was paid to the Moravian Burial Ground, where they noted that the
grave stone was only marked with the name and either Single Sister, Single
Brother or Married Sister, Married Brother. Arrangements today are in hand
for Moravians who are cremated, by placing a section of the Burial Ground
aside for the scattering of their ashes.
The party was then taken to see the original school used to educate the
children. This school is now the Fairfield High School for Girls, and has been
enlarged, modernized and is under the control of the Local Education
Committee of Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council.
The party could have had tea served to them but arrangements had been made
for them to go along to the Association's Vice-Chairman's home for this to be
taken in the garden. It was explained that during the 1930's the Fairfield
Moravian Church had a Boys' Brigade Company (the 15a Manchester
Company), which told our members that this must have been an old Boys' Life
Brigade Company with having the letter (a) after the number.
Thank you Ron for this, which I found very interesting; I am sure that you will
do so as well. This visit has also prompted me to ask whether other
Associations have contacts with other organisations, and whether they‟d like
to tell us all about them.
We have recently received some good and bad news about a number of the senior
members of three of our Associations.
Firstly, John Russell of the London Stedfast Association has been very poorly of late
following a collapse at home in July. It‟s good news, though, as he is now on the road
to a full recovery.
Secondly, our friends in the Brighton and Hove Stedfast Association have recently
lost their President, Derek Hall, who died in July. Our prayers are with his family, as
they are with Peter Gear, their Chairman, who is undergoing health tests.
Thirdly, we offer our best wishes to Alan Skelly, the long-serving Editor of the
Newsletter of the Liverpool Past Members Association. Sadly, Alan has been forced
by ill-health to give up this post and as I write they do not have a replacement.
Someone is urgently needed, and if anyone would like to volunteer, please would they
contact the Association‟s President (George Quarless, 0151 708 0354) or their
Secretary (Jim Hughes, 0151 428 6005) as soon as convenient.
Here and There … A Story from the Secretary
This is Robert‟s story of something that happened to him after the Federation AGM in
Belfast. He‟s called it ..
All my life I have wanted to be a magician. I cast my mind back to my early
swimming club Christmas parties when Mr Carol would suddenly appear in evening
dress after the eats and ice cream to entertain us with his magic for the best part of an
hour. He was marvellous. He could sprinkle a few ingredients into a hat, say a few
magic words, tap the hat with his magic wand and lo and behold a rabbit would pop
up. He could also roll a sheet of paper into a tube so that we could see right through
from end to end. There was nothing there BUT he would proceed to pull silk hankies
through, all joined together, forever.
He taught us his own MAGIC WORDS. These I have never forgotten. They were
“Gilly Gilly” and they worked for him every time. He also told us of his „Secret
Ingredient‟ which he used in all his magic. It was called „Magic Spirit‟ and we could
buy tuppence worth from any good chemist. Well, I believed him (perhaps I believed
in fairies too) and I could not wait until next day to go with my tuppence to the local
chemist who made me very sad by not understanding what I wanted to buy. Oh! I
thought, adults are sometimes very stupid. „Well,‟ I consoled myself, „Mr Carol did
recommend a „good‟ chemist.‟ I drew my own conclusion.
The hankering to be a Magician has remained with me throughout life. I don‟t know
why I never took it up seriously. Perhaps too much practice was involved. However,
the opportunity came my way very recently after the Federation AGM in Belfast. On
the Monday following the meeting the contingent from Aberdeen and Inverness
agreed to take a tour of the City of Belfast and I suggested that, by courtesy of my
membership of a Services Club with reciprocal facilities, I might be able to arrange
for lunch in rather grand surroundings. This suggestion met with universal approval
and we all met outside the Ulster Reform Club at the appointed time of 1 p.m.
I approached the reception, whereupon I was reminded that the club had a dress code
(As indeed my parent club in Edinburgh has). After having had it confirmed that
there could be no exceptions – under no circumstances could our two gentlemen be
admitted without jackets and ties, I was extremely embarrassed.
It was time for me to draw on all of my resources and I remembered my ambition to
be a magician. I approached the reception a second time and whispered the MAGIC
WORDS to the gentleman on Reception. The Chief Executive was summoned, the
Magic Words relayed, a wardrobe door sprung open and our two gentlemen fitted out
with jackets and ties. We were then invited to use the club facilities before sitting
down to a marvellous lunch in most splendid surroundings. This was followed by a
conducted tour of the Club. It was a never-to-be-forgotten experience, which was
enjoyed by all.
Oh! You‟ll want to know the Magic Words ….. no cheating now, what do you think
they are?? Turn to the end of this issue to find out!
Thank you Robert. Something similar once happened to me on the ferry from
Liverpool to Belfast, so I know what these magic words can do for you!
Well, that‟s all for now. Thank you for contributing and, of course, reading; I hope
that you‟ve found something that you‟ve liked. If you have any questions, or have any
suggestions for future articles, please let me know.
The next issue of “FedNews” is planned for (approximately) the middle/end of
November, so I would appreciate any suggestions by the end of October, please.
Similarly, I have to provide copy for the Stedfast News column in the BB Gazette by
1 October, so would appreciate your information by the middle of September please.
I can be contacted at the addresses below as usual. Thank you; I look forward to
hearing from you.
PHILLIP C STALLARD
PS: The Magic Words were „We are all members of The Boys‟ Brigade
visiting Belfast.‟ It just lets you see how highly The Boys‟ Brigade is
regarded in Northern Ireland.
Who‟s Who in the Federation
Position Name Contact details
Chairman Paul Juby (01493) 369135
Vice Chairman Ron Adshead 0161 494 8306
Secretary Robert Cooper (01224) 315940
Assistant Secretary Eddie McClure 028 9087 0443
Treasurer Peter Parkin 0161 998 3541
Editor/ Phillip C Stallard (01633) 215753
Publicity Officer email@example.com
100 Stelvio Park Drive, Newport, South Wales, NP20 3ES
Extension Officer Elizabeth Smith 028 9146 9683
Webmaster Greig Scott (01236) 420760