Belt, Boys' Brigade

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A dark brown leather belt, with brass buckles and clasp. The buckle has ' THE BOYS' BRIGADE ' embossed in brass, whereas the clasp has the Boys' Brigade icon of an anchor over a thick cross, with two capital B letters on either side and word ' Sure' at the top of the anchor and ' STEDFAST ' at the bottom (spelt without a). The belt has 9 holes in it with two homemade, and on the reverse has the words ' A GILLIVER ' written in pen, as well as " 3rd N.P ' and 'No 1 '.
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This belt formed part of a uniform worn by Gavin and David Sharpe, when they attended the 3rd New Plymouth Company of the New Zealand Boys' Brigade (St. Andrew's). The Boys' Brigade was set up in Glasgow in 1883, and three years later it made it to New Zealand. The organisation was developed to give boys strong role models and the opportunity to develop a range of skills, including outdoor education and some military style exercises. The New Zealand companies were closed during World War One until 1926 due to lack of numbers, especially for leaders, but after this it grew steadily, with approximately 12,000 members in 1965 all over the country.

Gavin Sharpe and his brother David attended between 1975 and 1985, going from junior ranks up to seniors. This belt was handed down from another Boys' Brigade member, A. Gilliver.

Today the Boys Brigade also includes ICONZ, a less formal branch which focuses more on outdoor activity and team bonding than the more strict, cadet-style sessions in Boys Brigade. Today there are no traditional Boys Brigade companies in New Plymouth, and in 2009 there were approximately 2,600 members nationwide.
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