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Just who was Jackson and why is his name on 58th BB cup?

By Eddie McIlwaine

Who was Jackson? Everyone at the 58th Belfast Company of the Boys' Brigade, which is about to celebrate its 75th anniversary, would like to know. It's a mystery that has baffled present members and old boys for years.

You see, the Proficiency Cup, awarded to Best Boy in 58th Belfast every year, has been called the Jackson Efficiency Cup for as long as anyone can remember. But why? No one recalls a Jackson marching in the ranks of the company, which was formed by the merger of York Street Presbyterian Church and Castleton Presbyterian Church in Belfast after the Blitz in 1941.

York Street Presbyterian was completely destroyed and Castleton suffered major damage, too, but its church halls survived and the two places of worship were merged on the Castleton site under the name of Alexandra Presbyterian Church and the BB company became 58th Belfast in 1942. So, back to the Jackson saga. Down the years, each boy who has won the trophy has had his name engraved on a small shield around the base. There are more than 80 names on the bottom - and not a Jackson among them.

The trophy pre-dates the company by several years, right back to its BB connection with the old York Street congregation, but that provides not a clue as to who presented the Jackson Cup in the first place.

The two boys who shared the cup this year are Nathan McBride (16) and Cameron McCaughey (18).

The Company will be celebrating its 75th anniversary at Corr's Corner at Glengormley on Saturday, October 14, with an enrolment service on Sunday, October 15 in Alexandra Presbyterian Church (11am).

It will be an emotion-charged occasion, with old and present members sharing many memories and looking at old photographs.

And, of course, trying to find out just who Jackson was.

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