Retirement for Denis - but he's not stopping
Denis MacGregor has just retired as Captain of the 14th Nottingham Company of The Boys' Brigade after 46 years, writes Keith Vinerd.... which gives him time to help wife Anne run the Anchor Section
Denis initially joined The Boys’ Brigade to play football. He joined the 14th Nottingham Company at Mansfield Road Baptist Church and served as both boy and Officer.
As a boy he ran for both the Company and Battalion Cross Country teams and gained his Notts. AAA colours and continued to run until his National Service in the Army.
In The Boys’ Brigade he soon came to appreciate the opportunities and discipline which it presented and worked steadily through the ranks and was enrolled as an Officer on 27 September 1962, became Leader-in-Charge of the Junior Section and was then appointed as Company Captain on 1 October 1968.
He has always had boundless enthusiasm for his Brigade work and for youth in general. Over the years he has been a source of inspiration to many boys and Officers and has helped scores of boys to grow into responsible manhood, many of them going on themselves to offer excellent service to The Boys’ Brigade, the Church and the wider community.
As well as the proud and emotional moments, there have been some hilarious and entertaining times too. 'We have had some of our funniest moments at Camp,' he says. 'The lads have painted my Wellingtons, and put my pyjamas up on top of the flagpole!'
Over the years 27 members have gained various levels of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Denis is especially pleased that members recently gained a President’s Badge and another Gold Award.
He ran excellent camps for both The Brigade and other youth groups and has always taken the time to get to know the parents and visit the homes where necessary. He has always supported the Nottingham Battalion and has been particularly active on the staff working with the Bi-Annual Show, swimming galas, cross country runs, athletics meetings and football. In 1983 he gave support to the setting up of the North Midland District Holiday Chalet for the Disabled at Mablethorpe which was a special Centenary project for The Boys’ Brigade and through his profession gave considerable help with the furnishings.
Denis is a staunch member of the well attended and active Mansfield Road Baptist Church where he became a member in 1953 and for many years he was a Sunday School Teacher.
The Church is located at a very busy main junction and Denis has recently organised his boys to maintain the Church garden both as part of their community involvement and to improve the environment at this site. He recently gave up the work of arranging Football for the Company Section on a Battalion basis but this has been his only concession to advancing years.
In 2007 Anne and Denis won the Coroner’s Special Award for service to the community through their work in The Boys’ Brigade and particularly in the 14th Nottingham Company as part of The Nottingham Evening Post and BBC Radio Nottingham’s Reach Out Awards 2007, having been nominated by a former Company member. They were presented with the Award at a special ceremony at Nottinghamshire County Hall.
Denis and Anne have a son, Andrew, and one granddaughter. He and Anne celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 2006.