Gympie brigadier the first to earn special award since 2001
A MOTHAR Mountain youth has become the first Gympie region recipient of the Boys' Brigade Queens Badge award since 2001.
Nineteen-year-old Jacob Clifford was presented with the Brigade's highest honour by Queensland Governor Paul de Jersey at Government House last Friday night after fourteen years of hard work to attain it.
Almost all of that time saw Jacob travel to Morayfield every week for developmental programs aimed at creating a "mix of fun, adventure and challenge” after the Gympie Brigade closed in 2005.
"It's good to have finally finished everything I needed to do and to have achieved everything I needed to get the badge,” Jacob said.
"Quite a few years worth of work went into it, I don't know if it has really dawned on me yet.
"What it represents in terms of the life skills I've developed from it is what means the most.”
Jacob thanked Morayfield leader and Boys' Brigade Queensland general manager Carlisle Wyllie for his guidance "every step of the way”, as well as his parents John and Samantha.
Mr Wyllie commended Jacob for taking "full advantage” of the program's opportunities.
"During earning this award Jacob has experienced many different outdoor adventure activities, learned many new skills, completed service to the community and made some great mates,” Mr Wyllie said.
"He has been a member of a State Drill winning team, won the Boys' Brigade Queensland Great Canoe Race (and) also taken part in Leadership Development courses, and this year was chosen to help lead the same course in the USA.
"(As leader of the Morayfield group) it makes me double pleased to have been with Jacob through this journey. It is great to see someone from Gympie earn the badge, it would be even better to see BB restart in the region.
"The commitment of his family certainly helped Jacob. The distance added challenges, particularly taking part regularly and attending Friday nights and so many weekends.”