Joe Lyons, Captain at 1st Waringstown Boys’ Brigade, has been with the company for longer than he is able to remember.
Joe said: “I went to Waringstown Robins (now Anchor Boys) when I was three or four. I remember wearing shorts, a little red elasticated tie and a red Robins cap.
“I didn’t realise I’d been involved for 40 years. At our BB enrolment service last Sunday and an old picture of me appeared on the screens. Apparently my mum had worked out I’d been with the company for 40. It was a pleasant surprise.”
He added: “I fondly remember many leaders from all those years ago. Dorothy Allen, Paula McCullough, Nancy Walker and Louise Magowan were my Robins leaders. Dougie Barr, Ken McKeown and Melvin Hamilton were there during my time in the Junior and Company Sections. They have all left a positive impression on my life.”
Joe has brought his enthusiasm for outdoor pursuits to the company. He said: “One of the first things I did as captain was take a group to Scotland to climb Ben Nevis. Each boy and leader had an unforgettable trip and most of those who went are still members of our BB today.”
He has also recently introduced the Duke of Edinburgh award. He said: “We have just started our third year of the Duke of Ed. Priority is given to BB members and remaining places are offered to other youth groups in the community. It’s an opportunity that many girls have availed of and currently we have around 50 young young people working towards their Bronze, Silver and Gold awards.”
Joe is fortunate to have almost 20 leaders at the company and he is thankful for the time they give and the skills they bring to 1st Waringstown.
He said: “We have around 130 boys in our BB and credit must go to our leaders for their commitment and the brilliant programme of activities they provide.
“As is the case with anyone who volunteers for youth work, family support and encouragement is so important,” he said.
Joe is married to Karen. Together they have two girls - Sophie (16) and Charlotte (13).