In November of 1936, the Kirk Session of St Andrew's Church had been petitioned by the Boys' Brigade Council, concerning its desires to commemorate in some fitting manner the Jubilee of the Movement in Greenock. They proposed to raise funds in order to erect in St Andrew's Church a stained glass window as a memorial to Thomas H Stewart. The Kirk Session's approval was cordially granted and on Sunday 25th April 1937 the Greenock Battalion paraded to St Andrew's Church to a Service conducted by Rev James Lochore. The Memorial Window to the memory of Thomas Heggie Stewart, founder of the 1st Greenock Company was unveiled by his daughter and dedicated to the service of God. It was then handed over as a gift to the Church at the Jubilee of the Boys' Brigade Movement in Greenock by the Battalion President Mr John Drummond Junior, and accepted by Rev Andrew Urquhart on behalf of the Congregation.
The Window depicted, in the centre panel, the Boy Jesus in the Carpenter's shop with Joseph and Mary. The boy, the central figure, stood holding a piece of wood in His arms while a ray of light from the window behind fell on his head and shoulders. Behind stood Joseph, and in the left foreground, Mary seated and engaged in sewing. Below were the words “The child grew and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him”.
In the upper panel was the figure of the Glorified Christ with right hand upraised in an aureole of light and standing in a rainbow.
In the lower panel, Christ was seen as the Shepherd, leading his sheep to the still waters. In the centre was the badge of the Boys' Brigade. The window was designed and executed by Gordon MacWhirter Webster of Glasgow .
Unfortunately, existing records are unclear, but it would appear that at the time of the Movement of St Andrew's Congregation in the union of 1967, which gives it its present home due to the difficulty of re-siting the window in a suitable location either in the present Church or elsewhere the window was literally lost sight of and its present whereabouts and condition are unknown.
An equally fitting memorial to both Thomas Stewart and the Movement, was, however, perhaps represented in the number of people who filled St Andrew's Church on that Sunday afternoon in April 1937. Having ended the first session in 1887-88 with 54 boys enrolled in the company, the Battalion strength in 1937 stood at 700 officers and boys, with a large representation of ex-embers.
In the Next 25 Years