Hongkong Daily Press.
Hongkong, Wednesday, October 31st, 1923.
HONGKONG BOY SCOUTS
LAST EVENING'S PUBLIC MEETING.
H.E. THE GOVERNOR ATTENDS AS CHIEF SCOUT.
The Boy Scouts of Hongkong last evening mustered in force at the Theatre Royal where a public meeting was held and a resume of the year's work given by the Hongkong Commissioner (the Rev. W.G.Waldegrave). Prior to the public meeting the annual meeting of the Association was held which was attended by His Excellency the Governor (Sir R.E.Stubbs, K.C.M.G.) as Chief Scout and which was presided over by the local President of the Association (the Hon. Mr. P.H.Holyoak).
In presenting the annual report of the year the Commissioner said that on September 30th 1923, there were nine troops of land scouts with two others in the process of formation. The sea scouts were registered as a troop. There was only one patrol of rovers and one wolf cub pack was in abeyance owing to lack of a suitable officer. The rover patrols owed their drop in numbers to the fact that during the summer several of their numbers who were drawn from among the University students had left the University. The total number of scouts was 169 which showed a decrease, but this they did not view with any apprehension, as during the year troops were instructed to revise their registers and insist that all scouts who desired to be considered as such should prove their keenness regular attendance and steady work. The result was an increase in efficiency all round.
Dealing with the officers the Commissioner said there were seven warranted scout masters, six warranted assistant scout masters, and two warranted wolf cub officers. He remarked the Association needed badly men who would give up time to this most engrossing game of scouting for boys.
There had been a great advance in scout craft during the year and a high standard of efficiency had been reached. There were now twenty seven first class scouts, and above that rank one King's sea scout. There were none of these at the commencement of the year. In the obtaining of proficiency badges, ambulance instruction, various handicraft, etc., there had also been much work done with satisfactory results. There was no doubt that the presentation of the Prince of Wales' banner for competition had been a great incentive to scouts and had encouraged troop esprit de corps.
Referring to camping, the Rev. Waldegrave said that most of the camping carried out had been of the weekend or hiking variety. The frequent occurrences of typhoon weather prevented camps of any length being held.
In regard to the sea scouts he said that the branch showed signs of gradual growth. The gift of a yacht by H.E. the Governor and Lady Stubbs had proved most valuable, while other friends had also given a 16-foot rowing boat as well as a small dinghy for the yacht. Five out of the eight members had qualified to use the yacht. He added that by courtesy of members of the Royal Hongkong Yacht Club the sea scouts, under contain very reasonable restrictions, were allowed to take part in Club races.
Dealing with finances, he said the Association was now drawing very largely on its capital and they desired to see the number of subscribers greatly increased. The main expense at present was the upkeep and rent of the Pine Wood Training Camp. They had hoped to make
troops absolutely self supporting after giving them an initial start, but it appeared in the case of some of the poorer troops that an annual grant would have to be made.
The Commissioner then went on to deal with the main events of the year, including two rambles on the mainland during the Christmas holidays whilst in April the jamboree was held with great success. In May the competition rally was held at the Race Course, and in August a scouters training camp was held at Pine Wood. The outlook, said the speaker, was decidedly favourable, and the principal hindrance was lack of officers. He mentioned that one troop could be formed and registered at once in connection with the Ellis Kadoorie School for Indians. The Headmaster of the Kowloon British School had also informed him that he would welcome the formation of a troop there provided a Scout Master could be found. At Taipo the Headmaster of the Government School was at work getting a troop together. He concluded by making an urgent appeal for officers and pointing out that there could be no more engrossing pastime nor one more beneficial to both scouts and scouters. He thanked all those who in so many different ways had aided them in the past, and were doing so now. He could only express the hope that the present year would see a great increase in the personnel of the whole movement generally.
Mr. Waldgrave then gave a short report on each troop.
The balance sheet which was presented by Mr. C.H.Blason, the Hon. Treasurer, showed a balance on the working account of $1,000. It was also stated that the Association had $3,000 on fixed deposit.
Both the report and balance sheet were unanimously adopted.
The following senior officials for the ensuing year were elected:--
President, the Hon. Mr. P.H.Holyoak; Vice-President, Mr. R.H.B. Hancock; Commissioner, the Rev. C.T.Waldegrave, M.A.; Hon. Treasurer, Mr. C.H.Blason; Hon. Secretary, District Scoutmaster A.White.
At the conclusion of the annual meeting the public meeting was held in the Theatre. This meeting was also attended by His Excellency the Governor. The principal feature of the meeting was a very interesting illustrated lantern lecture on the Scout movement by the Commissioner. The lantern slides were for the most part topical and the Rev. Mr. Waldegrave wove his story round these topical pictures in a very interesting manner. Pictures of the Scouts in camp, on the hike and undergoing instruction both on sea and on land were displayed. A slide showing three Chinese scouts who had been awarded the life saving medal was greeted with much applause, whilst a picture of the officers in camp with the sea scouts acting as their cooks also drew forth applause. The lantern was manipulated by Mr. C.H.Blason.
At the conclusion of the lecture the Prince of Wales' banner was presented by the Chief Scout to the troop winning the most points at the Scout rallies, and the Commissioner in asking His Excellency to make the presentation said the contests for the banner had been held under certain conditions and points gained were added to the points awarded to troops for progress in the year's work. During the past year, owing to the jamboree and the preparation it entailed, only one rally was held, in which the 6th troop, Ellis Kadoorie School headed the list. On the total number of points, including those awarded for progress, the sea scouts came first by a very small margin with the 6th troop second. The Sub-Committee were, however, of the opinion that the sea scouts were so much more favourably placed in every way that a fairer decision would be to declare the result a tie. The Patrol leader of the sea scouts was informed of this feeling but was told he would be quite justified in claiming the banner. He however, stated the opinion of the sea scouts was that the 6th troop deserved the banner. Accordingly the Sub-Committee recommended that the banner be held for six months by each of the two troops. The winning troops were entitled to be called the Governor's Troop, during the period for which the banner was held.
His Excellency the Governor said that before handing over the banner he would like to express the gratitude of the audience to the Rev. Mr. Waldegrave for his very interesting lecture on the Scout Movement and to Mr. Blason for his really admirable photographs. They showed what excellent work was being done and the boys looked extremely fit whilst those who partook of the sea scouts cooking appeared to be none the worse for its. From another point of view good work was being done, three life saving medals had been won during the year whilst the sporting spirit of the sea scouts in waiving their claim in favour of the other troop was typical of the services rendered by the Association to the Colony.
His Excellency, continuing, said that he would like to express his thanks, as Chief Scout, to the Officers who had taken so much trouble in instructing the scouts. He would especially like to mention the Commissioner (Mr. Waldegrave), who had told them a great deal that evening about the movement but nothing about the Commissioner, which was a very important post. When Col. Bowen left the Colony he was in some doubt as to whether the Association would carry on. Mr. Waldegrave was ready to take on the work in spite of many other duties and he now thanked him most cordially for all the work he had put into the affairs of the Association and the high standard of results achieved by him. He was glad to announce that the Rev. Mr. Waldegrave, whose term of office had expired, was agreeable to serve for another term.
His Excellency then proceeded to make the presentation of the banner to the patrol leaders of the Sea Scouts and the 6th Troop. In handing over the banner he expressed the hope that the winners in turn would use the title of the Governor's troop. He would only be too proud to have his name associated with them.
His Excellency was then presented with a large photograph of the scouts at the rally as a momento of the year's work. Mr. Waldegrave making the presentation. His Excellency was then asked to present to Mr. B. Wylie a badge of thanks from the scouts for his advertising work in connection with the scouts' jamboree. This badge entitles Mr. Wylie to call upon the service of any scout at any time and anywhere. This presentation being made cheers for the Chief Scout brought the proceedings to a close.