The Strand Company (2nd Derry) Boys' Brigade
The Company was formed in 1908. The first Captain was Mr Robert Gray, the Principal of the National School which belonged to the church. Mr Gray was also Superintendent of the Strand Sunday School.
The motto of the Boys' Brigade is "SURE AND STEADFAST", and in those early days, the training and discipline at meetings appealed very much to the boys. Physical Training and "Drill Downs" were an important part of each Friday evening meeting.
Each Summer a camp was held at Dhu-Varren, Portrush. The Strand, at that time was the only company which organised a summer camp. Boys from Great James Street and First Derry Companies joined in the summer camp.
The Strand Company Colours can be seen displayed in the church along with the Company Colours of 8th Londonderry Scout Troop, Wolf Cubs, The Strand Girl Guide Colours and a Memorial Scout Colour, and Memorial Union Flag.
The uniform for ordinary ranks in the Boys' Brigade at that time was a "pillbox" hat, white haversack and the Boys' Brigade leather belt.
After twenty year, Mr Gray resigned the leadership and Mr George Kincaid became the Captain of Strand Company. It continued from strength to strength. A Company Flute Band was formed, and an Annual Display was held in the Guildhall. Parents and friends came in large numbers to see the boys on parade and watch demonstrations of the Physical Training and Drill activities which the boys had perfected during the year.
In 1935 to mark The Silver Jubilee of King George V, the United Kingdom Boys' Brigade organised a 500 mile Marathon run carrying a message of congratulation and loyal greetings to the king. Londonderry had the honour of being chosen as starting point for the run.
Strand Company had the special honour of receiving the baton and running the first leg of the Marathon. A photograph from "The Londonderry Sentinel" published on Saturday 20 April, 1935 records this event and a copy is included with this historical account.
Mr Kincaid added to the strength of the Company by forming a Junior Section, The Life Boys. Both organisations had very successful years of loyal membership under the guidance of Mr Kincaid's successor, Mr Wilson Gamble, the Captain of the Life Boys, Mr Ivan Mooney.
In the early forties there was an emergence of other pursuits and pastimes which were competing with the Boys' Brigade and to the great regret of the Strand congregation the Company was forced to close due to fall in membership.
Their colours were displayed in the church and a few years later the Boy Scout Troop was formed.