Boys’ Brigade officer John jets from Bishopbriggs to Malawi

John Armour
John Armour

A pioneering student is hoping that his recent visit to Malawi could be the catalyst for the country’s first ever Boys’ Brigade group.

John Armour (21) from Bishopbriggs, is currently studying at Strathclyde University, but during his holidays he travelled to Africa as part of the Church of Scotland’s World Mission Fund– marking the anniversary of David Livingston arriving in Malawi.

The former Bishopbriggs Academy pupil, who is an officer in the 268 Glasgow Boys’ Brigade Company, visited several parts of the country and spoke to youngsters about the organisation.

He said: “In the mornings we would do a bit of background and tell them about the history of BB.

“In the afternoon we did some drill, taught them sign language and first aid, and did Q&A sessions.

“We also did ice-breakers as most of the people didn’t know each other as there was only one representative from each church.

“People were coming from miles around to see us which was really quite special.”

Every day provided a new experience for John, as he visited wildlife parks, a youth prison, a church service and played football with the locals.

Even a three-day delay in getting his luggage didn’t dent his love of the country and its people.

He said: “Everybody seems so happy with their lot even though they have very little.

“We didn’t see an angry face the entire time we were there. It’s very different from Scotland.”

Now John hopes to return to Malawi in the coming years, and hopes that by then there may be an active BB group in the country.

He said: “If they just had one company this time next year we’d be really happy.”

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