The Boys' Brigade 17th Brisbane Company

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Location: The Grange, Queensland, Australiamap
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The Boys' Brigade 17th Brisbane Company

Two churches have been allocated the number, 17th Brisbane, for their Boys’ Brigade Company: The Grange Baptist Church and Oxley Uniting Church. Although Oxley Uniting Company did the title great honour from 1984 to 2014, it is with the original Company that this page is concerned.


Early Life Boys Leaders and Boys' Brigade Officers who have been pivotal in mentoring and guiding over one hundred Old Boys include:

  • William 'Bill' Bain
  • Graham Beasley, ex-9th Brisbane
  • Kevin Bayliss
  • John Brotchie, established 30th Brisbane at Alderley Presbyterian in 1962
  • Jack Coates
  • Miss Alison Gibbs
  • John Lightbody
  • Doug Lord
  • Selwyn Walker (moved to 21st Brisbane c1970)
  • Reginald Walsh, Captain 1968-69
  • Colin Ward, initial Captain 1957-

Other leaders came, including:

  • Graham Barralet, is a Queensland Athletics long distance running and walking champion and four-time winner of the Pomona King of the Mountain cross-country race whose 1987 record stood for 22 years
  • Kenneth Evans, has gone on to Captain 17th Brisbane, start 13th Ipswich, re-build 66th NSW Clemton Park, consolidate 31st NSW Concord and re-start 1st Beaudesert Companies, as well as a host of regional, state (NSW & QLD) and national executive roles.
  • Stephen Evans, started 3rd Redcliffe Company at Clontarf Baptist Church and was a member of the BB State Executive for many years
  • Peter Haylock, Vietnam Veteran and later a Churches of Christ Pastor
  • Paul Holden, Captain 1970-75; later Pastor of Glasshouse Mountains Baptist Church and Noosa Baptist Church
  • Neville Knight
  • Gavin Parkinson
  • Mrs Margaret Phillips
  • Dick Souter
  • Mark Tierney
  • Peter Walsh, Reg's younger son; went on to be the Church Treasurer of Grange Baptist
  • Trevor Walsh, Reg’s elder son, Captain from the time of the Life Boy-Boys’ Brigade merger in 1967


For a small Company – usually between 25 and 50 Boys – 17th Brisbane has left an indelible mark on the Brigade. Squads of Boys visited and displayed activities for several start-up Companies, including 35th Brisbane (Gordon Park), 43rd Brisbane (Stafford North), 1st Pine Rivers (Kallangur) and 2nd Pine Rivers (Lawnton). Several members were active in the Rangers Amateur Athletic Club and others were instrumental in establishing the Grange Baptist Rugby League Club. The Company also had a team in the BB Brisbane-wide ten pin bowling league in the 1970s.

The Grange, under its original name of Newmarket-Grange Baptist, opened its Life Boy Team (later called No1 Section and now Juniors) in 1953. The Boys’ Brigade (later No2 Section and then Seniors) followed in 1957, becoming part of the Brisbane Battalion.

When the Brisbane Battalion was subdivided in 1964, 17th Brisbane, being tucked right into the geographical boundary, was allocated to No.3 Brisbane Battalion – the Ferny Grove railway line then being the boundary between Nos.1 and 3 Battalions. Whilst this division left 17th close to other Companies at Albion, Stafford North, Gordon Park and Clayfield, it cut the Company off from many established Companies on their ‘doorstep’ such as 1st Brisbane (Ithaca), 6th Brisbane (Enoggera), 13th Brisbane (Keperra) and 15th Brisbane (Ashgrove).

The Company regularly participated in Battalion events, winning dozens of pennants in figure marching, squad drill, cross country, athletics and volleyball. Camping, bushwalking, gymnastics, touch football and table tennis were favourite activities. The favourite camping spot was on the upper Brisbane River at Fernvale, when it was mostly bushland and farms. Boys from 17th Brisbane attended the first to fifth Pan Australian Camps in Sydney (Stanwell Tops and Narrabeen), on the Gold Coast, at Rabaul and at Devonport.

As often witnessed of inner suburban communities, 17th Brisbane became a product of its environment. Young men moved out to new suburbs as they married and it became impossible to staff the Company. The Company’s final parade was in December 1977, when it closed due to a lack of officers. At the end there were still some twenty-five Boys in membership.

Queen's Men

The Company produced twelve Queen’s Men, i.e., young men who achieved the highest international award The Queen's Badge, during its 25-year life, including:

  1. Trevor Walsh (1963)
  2. Ian Hopkins (1967)
  3. Peter Walsh (1967)
  4. Neville Knight (1969)
  5. Greg Pitt (1969)
  6. David Weatherford (1971)
  7. Kenneth Evans (1972)
  8. Stephen Evans (1973)
  9. Stephen Knott (1973)
  10. Wayne Lord (1973)
  11. Neale Price (1976) and
  12. Edward Roberts (1977)


  • Hoare, Michael E. Boys Urchins Men.
  • first hand knowledge of Ken Evans

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