Teenager Mark Nicoll, a member of the 1st St Andrews Company, the Boys’ Brigade, has achieved the highest honour to be conferred by the youth movement.
At a special ceremony held during the company’s annual display and prizegiving in the BB Hall in the town, 18-year-old Mark received the Queen’s Badge.
It was handed over by Drum Major Brian Alexander, who led the Massed Pipes and Drums over the drawbridge at Edinburgh Castle at the Tattoo at the start of each show for many years until he retired earlier this year.
The Madras College FP is a former member of the 1st St Andrews Boys’ Brigade and City of St Andrews Pipe Band and was senior drum major in the British Army in Scotland and a member of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
Also a former pupil of the St Andrews secondary school, Mark Nicoll has served with the Company for 13 years in all the sections: Anchor Boys, Junior, Company and Senior Section. The Queen’s Badge is the highest honour in the BB and also requires the recipient to to be the holder of the President’s Badge, which Mark achieved two years ago.
He is a student at Fife College and the Queen’s Badge aims to challenge and equip the individual, provide new opportunities and expand horizons while remaining accessible to young people of all abilities.
Company captain, Stephen Donaldson, said that the award offers the chance to engage with the local community, take on responsibility, set personal goals, build self confidence and experience a sense of achievement.
It involves the completion of a number of activities, including participating in skills-based training, taking responsibility within the BB or Church, providing voluntary service or support to others and developing skills and interests.
It is the first time in 15 years the St Andrews BB has presented the award and is particularly apt as it is the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year.