What is the Girls Brigade?
The aim of the Girls’ Brigade, being a Christian, international and interdenominational organization shall be:
“To help girls to become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ and through self control, reverence and a sense of responsibility, to find true enrichment of life.”
Seek, Serve and Follow Christ.
The Brigade acknowledges Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord according to the Scriptures and seeks to fulfill its aim to the glory of one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Brigade witnesses to the standard set by Jesus Christ and gives positive teaching on the Christian attitude to life.
The Brigade promotes a just society where all people are equally valued.
The Brigade shall comprise of local companies, each of which shall be connected with a church or mission of an approved Christian denomination and every member shall be encouraged to attend church, Bible Class and/or Sunday School. The Brigade shall provide activities designed to help girls attain physical, mental and spiritual maturity and to express what they learn through practical service to home, community and church.
History Of The Girls' Brigade
The Girls’ Brigade of Ireland: formed by Miss Margaret Lyttle in Dublin in 1893. Its aim was the extension of Christian Kingdom among girls. Membership at the time of the union was 8,000.
The Girls’ Guildry: formed in Glasgow, Scotland in 1900, as a church based organization. It provided programmes for our age groups and its aim was to help girls to become mature Christian women. It was international and interdenominational and emphasized service to others. Membership at the time of the union was 35,000.
The Girls’ Life Brigade: founded in England in 1902 by the National Sunday School Union (now called the National Christian Education Council).
This was also an interdenominational organization, with a varied programme for four age groups. Its aim was; to help and encourage girls to become responsible, self reliant, useful Christian women. Membership at the time of the union was 120,000.
The union of the three organisations was announced on Thursday June 25, 1964 and was formally confirmed at the inaugural meeting of the Brigade International Council in London on June 10, 1968. As a result, International Day of Prayer is observed each year on June 10, to commemorate this historic decision. With this union, the new badge below was created, which is a combination of the three badges shown above.
The Meaning Of Our Brigade Crest
CROSS: the symbol of Christ and His Church.
LAMP: that our light may shine out upon the world.
CROWN: that we may own Christ as our King.
TORCH: the flame of Christ’s living Spirit and our devotion to Him.
The Girls’ Brigade Badge consists of seven symbols which add to its total meaning of LOVE
The LAMP is likened to our lives – empty, it is useless; filled but left unlit it is simply an ornament. The Spirit of God is within us needing the spark of God’s love to set us alight.
The FLAME OF LOVE will then shine out from the lamp – God’s love shines through us, out to others.
The CROSS is at the centre. The lamp is at the foot of the cross where we begin to live as Christians. It is an empty Cross of victory reminding us that God’s LOVE for us is so great He gave His Son to die for us.
The RED BACKGROUND helps us to remember that Jesus’ blood was shed that we might be cleansed from our sins.
The CIRCLE signifies God’s encircling love. To remain in that Circle we must forgive and accept others. To keep that Circle complete we each have a place in it – being loyal to God, to His Church, and to one another.
The TORCH of endeavor at the top of the Badge becomes a reality if the Flame of Love burns brightly in the lives of all Brigaders in the Circle leaping up to set the world on fire for the Lord.
The CROWN which supports the Torch reminds us of who we serve – no one less the King of Kings who promises a Crown of life to those who are faithful to Him.
History Of The Cayman Islands Girls' Brigade
Mrs. Olive Miller
The Girls’ Brigade in the Cayman Islands was started in November 1946 by Ms Olive Wright (now Mrs. Olive Miller, MBE, JP) who was then the Organiser of the Girls’ Guildry in Jamaica.
Five companies of The Girls’ Guildry were started, one in each district, and leadership training undertaken.
The groups were number in alphabetical order
- Bodden Town - No. 1
- East End - No. 2
- George Town - No. 3
- North Side - No. 4
- West Bay - No. 5
The first 5 Captains for these companies were
- Bodden Town - Pearl Carter
- East End - Marie Rankine
- George Town - Una Bush
- North Side - Janet McCoy
- West Bay - Beulah Smith
In 1965 with the amalgamation of The Girls’ Guildry, The Girls’ Brigade and The Girls’ Life Brigade into one company – The Girls’ Brigade, The Cayman Islands Girls’ Guildry became the Cayman Islands Girls’ Brigade
Originally a part of the Council for Jamaica, the Cayman Islands sent delegates to the first International Brigade Council in London in 1968 as part of the Jamaican delegation. In 1973 in New Zealand, the Cayman Islands were accepted as full members of the Brigade International Council (BIC) and were thus able to have their own delegation participate in the proceedings. In 1978, the Cayman Islands Girls’ Brigade hosted the International Council in Grand Cayman.
Despite the hardships and challenges between 1946-1996, the Cayman Islands Girls’ Brigade continued to develop due to the dedication and determination of many Christian Officers, the establishment and commitment of the National Council, a programme of training, the support of the Church and the enjoyable programmes offered to the girls. The Cayman Islands Girls’ Brigade has positively impacted hundreds of ladies several of whom have returned to Girls’ Brigade as Officers.
Officers within the Cayman Islands Girls’ Brigade have also become leaders on the regional and international scene of Girls’ Brigade.
- Mrs. Olive Miller
- International Vice President 1968-1973 and 1978-1983
- Mrs. Iva Good
- International Vice President 1983-1988
- Snr. International VP 1988-1993
- International President 1993-1998
- Mrs. Andrea Stephens
- International Vice President
- Caribbean/Americas Fellowship 2006-2010
- Ms. Juliet McCoy
- Caribbean/Americas Fellowship 2002 to present
Mrs. Olive Miller and Mrs. Iva Good are International Vice Patrons – Ms. Olive was appointed to this position in 1983 and Mrs Iva in 2006.
In 1996 the Cayman Islands Girls’ Brigade celebrated its 50th Anniversary – this date also marked the beginning of the Company No. 6 – the Savannah Company with Mrs. Marisa Crawford as Captain. Mrs. Olive and Mrs. Iva continue to remain active in Girls’ Brigade with Mrs. Olive serving as President of the National Council and Mrs. Iva as Vice President.
The period 1996 to 2012 has continued to see growth in the Cayman Islands Girls’ Brigade. Officers remain committed to working with the girls, programme planning continues, the National Council meets quarterly, the Cayman Islands Girls’ Brigade Constitution is established and used, girls attend camps locally and regionally, officers attend international events, training is offered locally, and the organization continues to provide a safe, nurturing and Christian environment for the girls.