Boys' Brigade in Singapore

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The Boys' Brigade in Singapore is a youth uniformed group organisation which has been present in Singapore since 1930. It currently consists of over 700 officers and 6,300 Boys in over 116 companies. Its current Brigade President is Prof Ho Yew Kee. The Boys' Brigade in Singapore will be celebrating its 85th Anniversary in 2015.


The Boys' Brigade Campus at 105 Ganges Avenue.

The Boys' Brigade was introduced to Singapore by James Milner Fraser, an architect from Britain. He was a former member of the 23rd Aberdeen and the 23rd London Companies.

On 12 January 1930, Fraser started the 1st Singapore Company at Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church. With the aid of ex-Sergeant Quek Eng Moh of the 1st Swatow Company, he assembled 12 local Boys to form the company.

Progress was slow initially, but by the time the company was officially enrolled at Brigade Headquarters in London, in August 1930, the membership had risen to 40. The company chaplain was Reverend William Murray and Fraser's lieutenants were John McNeish (formerly of 76th Glasgow) and Dong Chui Sing. Bible class, drill, concerts, wayfaring signalling, first aid, swimming, fencing, tumbling and other forms of physical recreation formed the core of the Boys' Brigade syllabus.

In the following year, the first camp was held at the Singapore Volunteer Camp at Siglap. A successful inspection was also held to bring the session to a close.

Extension soon followed, spearheaded by McNeish with the formation of the 2nd Singapore Company at Kampong Kapor Methodist Church in February 1931.

By 1936, the Singapore Battalion was 200-strong, with the 3rd Singapore (1933) started at the Anglo-Chinese Continuation School, the 5th Singapore (1934) at Choon Guan Presbyterian Boys School, 4th Singapore (1934) at Geylang Methodist Church and the 6th Singapore (1934) at Paya Lebar Methodist Church.

The Battalion Colors were presented to the battalion by F. C. Sands in 1936 and the drill competition was introduced. Fraser served as the Battalion President from 1936 to 1956. In 1940, he handed the captaincy of the 1st Singapore over to one of his Boys, S. P. Chua.

During the war years of 1942 to 1945, The Boys' Brigade's activities were suspended. To avoid desecration, the prized Singapore Colors were destroyed, but some of the coveted drums were stored away in a room at Prinsep Headquarters.

After the war, S. P. Chua revived the 1st Singapore Company. He was joined immediately by Fraser and by 1950, the Battalion had regained its old strength.

By 1968, there were 28 companies in Singapore. In 1971, the Brigade had the distinguished honour of having the President of the Republic of Singapore as its Patron. The Brigade continues to grow today.

Vision, mission and beliefs[edit]

OUR VISION To be the Youth Organisation of Choice.

OUR MISSION To nurture Youth, based on Christian values, to lead and serve.

OUR BELIEFS We are First for Youth We provide fun, meaningful and challenging activities. We are committed to serve the community. We are served and led by volunteers. We are enterprising, in tune with our changing world. We actively engage our stakeholders. We are a Christian organisation, for all Youth.



A list of honorary office-bearers include:

Position Bearer
Patron Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam
President of the Republic of Singapore
Honorary President LG (Ret) Winston Choo Wee Leong
Honorary Vice-Presidents (Clerical) Bishop Rennis Ponniah (Anglican)
Bishop Terry Kee (Lutheran)
Bishop Dr Wee Boon Hup (Methodist)
Rev Dr Christopher Chia (Presbyterian)
Honorary Vice-Presidents (Lay) Dr Lee Soo Ann, PBM
Mr Lee Liat Cheng, BBM
Mr Sam Tan Boon Yeow, PBM
Mr Peter Tay Yew Beng
Mr Peter Foo Chien Ho, PBM
Mr Choo Gim Kang
Mr Tan Kok Heng, PPA,PP,PBS

The Brigade Executive

The Brigade Executive is the decision making body of The Boys' Brigade. In January 2007, the Brigade implemented the Cluster Structure and grouped the BB Companies into 12 clusters with an average of 10 to 15 Companies in each cluster. These clusters are similar to the school clusters of the Ministry of Education.

Position Bearer
Brigade President Prof Ho Yew Kee
Brigade Chaplain Rev Malcolm Tan
Associate Brigade Chaplain Rev Canon Daniel Tong
Vice-Presidents Mr David Chan Wan Keat
Mr Poh Leong Berg
Mr Elliot Tan Vincent
Mr Colin Chen
Brigade Secretary Mr Peter Ong
Assistant Brigade Secretary Mr Jason Lim
Brigade Treasurer Mr Eric Teo
Standing Committees chairman Mr Patrick Koh (Juniors Programme)
Mr Or Boon Chun(Seniors Programme)
Mr Stephen Hoe (Primers Programme)
Mr Oliver Loke (Training)
Mr Tony Tan Tuan Tiong (Activities)
Mr Matthew Fong Kum Fai (Facilities)
Cluster Representatives Mr William Goh (North 1)
Mr Gabriel Tan (North 2)
Mr Seah Poh Chye (North 3)
Mr Victor Aw (South 1)
Mr Patrick Ong Keng Huat (East 1)
Mr Peter Leong (East 2)
Mr William Wong (West 1)
Mr Jimmy Png (West 2)
Mr Edwin Lim (West 3)
Executive Director Mr Desmond Koh

The Brigade Office

The Brigade Office implements the strategic plans developed by the Brigade Executive.

Position Bearer
Executive Director Mr Desmond Koh
Deputy Director Ms Ang Hui Leng


Each BB company is managed by a partnership of members from the sponsoring church and the school where the company is based, if present. They are led by the Chaplain and Captain from the church, and typically assisted by a team of Teachers-in-Charge of the school. Assisting them are Officers, Primers and other VALs either from the church, from other churches or as former members of the Company.

BB Companies are identified by a unique number, with an exception of companies catered for the Primers Programme. In general, the smaller the number is, the earlier the company was founded. For example, the 1st Singapore Company has the longest history in Singapore. While this is true for most companies, the same cannot be said for certain compaines as the number was "recycled" (especially in the 1980s and early 1990s). The majority of the companies are catered for the Seniors Programme. Companies with a "J" indicate the Juniors Programme. Every company also has a sponsoring school where new boys are recruited annually, and weekly parades are held.

The BB companies in Singapore are divided into 12 clusters – North 1, North 2, North 3, East 1, East 2, East 3, South 1, South 2, South 3, West 1, West 2 and West 3. Each company is categorised into the appropriate cluster based on its geographical location on the Singapore island.


The ranks in the Seniors Programme include:

This ranks attainable by Primers include:

This ranks attainable by Officers include:

Badges and awards[edit]

Juniors' Programme[edit]

Badge Programme Prerequisites
JP Gold Award Juniors Primary 6 Boys
Attendance in 80% of the parades in 2 years (with minimum of 25 parades per year)
Completion of 4 hours of community service (BB-initiated: BB CARES or BB Share-a-Gift Project)
Attainment of 6 JP colour awards
Participation in BB Adventure Quest (JP)
JP Service Badge Juniors
White Achievement Badge Juniors
Green Achievement Badge Juniors
Purple Achievement Badge Juniors
Blue Achievement Badge Juniors
Red Achievement Badge Juniors
Silver Achievement Badge Juniors

Seniors' Programme[edit]

Badge/Award Type Stages Prerequisites
Adventure Core 3
Anti Drug Abuse (SANA) Elective 1
Arts Elective 3
Athletics Elective 3
Bandsman's Elective 3
Bugler's Elective 3
Christian Education Core 3
Citizenship Core 2
Civil Defence (Fireman) Elective 1
Community Service Core 3
Crafts Elective 3
Drill Core 3
Drummer's Elective 3
First Aid Core 3
Gymnastics Elective 3
Hobbies Elective 3
International Relations Elective 3
Kayaking Elective 3
Leadership Development Core 2
Lifeskills Core 3
Musketry Elective 3
National Events Special 1
Naturalist's Elective 3
NCO Star Core 2
Piper's Elective 3
Sailing Elective 3
Senior Proficiency Star Special 1
Sportsman's Elective 3
Swimming Elective 3
Target Core 1
Juniors Programme Link Service 1 Be in the Juniors Programme previously
Juniors Service Service 1
One Year Service Service 1 Served in the Boys Brigade company for consecutively of 1 year
Three Year Service Service 1 Served in the Boys Brigade company for consecutively of 3 years
Long Year Service Service 1 Served in the Boys Brigade company for consecutively of 4 years
Founder's Award Special 1 The highest award in the Seniors' Programme, awarded to those who exemplify the traits and ideals of the movement
Cross For Heroism Special 1 Performed an act of self-sacrifice for others, shown heroism in saving or attempting to save life, displayed sheer courage in the face of danger
Senior Proficiency Special 1 Meet certain criteria of earned badges


Juniors' Programme[edit]

There are three different dress codes for the Juniors' Programme for various functions and occasions. These include, in decreasing formality, the Day Dress, the Fatigue Dress and the PT Kit.

Seniors' Programme[edit]

There are five different dress codes for the Seniors' Programme for various functions and occasions. These include, in decreasing formality, the Ceremonial Dress, the Day Dress, the Musketry, the Fatigue Dress and the PT Kit.


There are three different dress codes for the Primers' Programme for various functions and occasions. These include, in decreasing formality, the Day Dress, the Musketry and the Fatigue Dress.


There are six different dress codes for BB Officers for various functions and occasions. These include, in decreasing formality, the Ceremonial Dress, the Function Dress, the Day Dress, the Musketry, the Fatigue Dress and the PT Kit.


There are three programmes for different age groups:

  • Juniors Programme – 8 to 11 years old (Primary 3 to Primary 6)
  • Seniors Programme – 12 to 16 years old (Secondary 1 to Secondary 4 or 5)
  • Primers Programme – 17 to 19 years (Post-Secondary, Junior Colleges/Polytechnics/Institutes of Technical Education, girls are eligible to enroll in this programme)


The Boys' Brigade in Singapore aims to play an active role in contributing to society, and to inculcate these values to the Boys.[1]

BB CARES[edit]

BB CARES, which stands for Community Activities Rallying Everyone to Serve involved BB companies organising activities to benefit welfare organisations of their choice. It is one of the events as part of the annual President's Challenge event.

Boys' Brigade Share-a-Gift[edit]

The Boys' Brigade Share-a-Gift (BBSG), previously known as The Boys' Brigade Sharity Gift Box, is a major annual event held during the Christmas period whereby more than 3,500 BB Officers and Boys, along with volunteers from other various groups, are mobilised to help collect gifts such as food and beverages from people and distribute these items to the needy in Singapore. These beneficiaries include the disabled, welfare homes, the elderly, and low-income families. There are also wishes from the beneficiaries that people can help to fulfill with, such as those requesting for food or household items, or toys and mattresses from children or the elderly.

Since the BBSG was started in 1988, it has been largely successful and has received great support from Singaporeans who have generously donated gifts over the years. From around 7,000 gifts collected in 1988, it has collected 428,000[2] gifts in 2006. Although the project did not meet its target donation by the close of the project on some occasions,[3][4] the public would often continue to donate such that target was achieved within the next few weeks.[5] In the last fifteen years, the BB has been working hand in hand with the National Council of Social Service (NCSS).

On 7 July 2013, the Boys' Brigade Share-a-Gift (BBSG) project was conferred the Singapore Youth Award Medal of Commendation. BBSG was recognised for achieving, contributing and inspiring youths at significantly higher levels after being awarded the Singapore Youth Award in 2004.

Boys' Brigade Learning Centre[edit]

The Boys' Brigade Learning Centre (BBLC) is an educational facility built and maintained by the Boys' Brigade in Proyouth Village, Puok Commune, Cambodia.

Notable alumnus[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ BB Sharity Gift Box exceeds target of food, household items for needy, CNA (20 December 2006). Retrieved on 21 December 2006.
  3. ^ Sharity Gift Box falls short of annual target, appeals for more donations, CNA (22 December 2007). Retrieved on 13 January 2008.
  4. ^ Boys' Brigade Sharity Gift Box 35% short of collection target, CNA (19 December 2008). Retrieved on 20 December 2008.
  5. ^ Boys' Brigade Sharity Gift Box meets its target, CNA (9 January 2008). Retrieved on 9 January 2009.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 1°17′29″N 103°49′54″E / 1.29139°N 103.83167°E / 1.29139; 103.83167