The Hongkong Telegraph.
Wednesday, October 31, 1923.
HONGKONG BOY SCOUTS.
REVIEW OF ACTIVITIES.
The annual meeting of the Hongkong Boy Scouts Association was held at the Theatre Royal last evening, the Hon. Mr. P.H.Holyoak presiding. Among those present was His Excellency the Governor Sir Edward Stubbs, (K.C.M.G.), Chief Scout.
In presenting the annual report the Commisioner, the Rev. G.T.Waldegrave, 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 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 by regular attendance and stendy work. The result was increased efficiency all round.
Dealing with officers the Commissioner said there were seven warranted Scout Masters, six warranted Assistant Scout Masters, and two warranted Wolf Cub Officers. He remarked that the Association badly needed men who would give up time to this most engrossing game of scouting for boys.
There had been a great advance in scoutcraft during the year and a high standard of efficiency was 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 proficiency badges, ambulance, 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 bear 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 recurrences of typhoon weather prevented camps of any length being held.
The Sea Scouts.
In regard to the Sea Scouts he said that the branch showed signs of gradual growth. The gift of a yacht by H.E. and Lady Stubbs had proved most valuable, whilst 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. By courtesy of members of the Hongkong Royal Yacht Club the Sea Scouts, under certain very reasonable restrictions, were allowed to take part in Club races.
Dealing with finances, Mr. Waldegrave 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 might have to be made.
The Commissioner then went on to deal with the main events of the year, including two rambles on the main land during the Christmas holidays, and the Jamboree in April. In May the competition rally was held at the Race Course, whilst in August a Scouters' Training Camp was held at Pine Wood.
Want of Officers.
The outlook, said the speaker, was decidedly favourable, but the principal hindrance was lack of officers. He mentioned that one trpop 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 there. He concluded by making an urgent appeal for officers and teaching briefly on the activities of each troop.
Mr. C.H.Blason, the Hon. Treasurer, then submitted the accounts with showed a credit balance of $3,000 in fixed deposit, and about $1,000 in the working accounts.
The election of officers for the current year followed and resulted as follows: President, Hon. Mr. P.H.Holyoak; Vice President, Mr. R.Hancock; Secretary, Mr. A.White; and Treasurer, Mr. C.H.Blason.
All high officers of the troops were reelected.
Immediately after the meeting a series of lantern pictures, prepared by Mr. Blason, were exhibited, these depicting different phases of the growth of the Boy Scouts movement and various forms of activities indulged in by Hongkong scouts. The Theatre was almost filled by boy scouts and their friends. H.E. the Governor was among the audience. To the "civilian" element the pictures were specially interesting, showing as they did the many kinds of handicraft taught to the boys.
Presentation of Banner.
Following the exhibition the Governor was requested by the Commissioner to present the Prince of Wales banner to the winning troop, the ceremony taking place on the stage, on which the Sixth Troop (Ellis Kadoorie School) and the Sea Scouts, who tied for the first place assembled.
After explaining that the banner was awarded to the troop obtaining most points in contests arranged in connection with the scout rallies during the year, for progress, etc., the Rev. Waldegrave said two troops came very close together in the competition. One troop worked at a very great advantage which was not enjoyed to the same extent by the other troop. The Committee, therefore, felt that a verdict for trying would be fair. On being asked if they would claim the banner, which they had every right to do, the spokesman of the Sea Scouts said he considered the Sixth Troop deserved the banner. Subject to His Excellency’s consent the Committee proposed to allow the Sea Scouts and the Sixth Troop to hold the banner each for six months, the troop to be called the Governor's troop during the period the banner is held by them.
The Governor's Speech.
The Governor said that before handing over the banner he would like, on behalf of the audience, to express his gratitude to the Rev. Waldegrave for the interesting exhibition and to Mr. Blason for the admirable photographs he had made. The pictures shown showed clearly how much good the Boy Scouts movement had been doing to the boys physically. They were extremely fit and happy in the pictures. He was pleased to note that three life saving medals had been earned by Hongkong boys this year. It was a very commendable sporting spirit which actuated the Sea Scouts to suggest that the banner be awarded to the other troop, this providing ample reward for the trouble which he (His Excellency) had taken in obtaining the Prince of Wales banner, and incidentally showing how well established the local movement was. As Chief Scout he would like to express gratitude to the officers responsible for instructing the scouts and specially to the Commissioner. The Rev. Waldegrave had said a treat deal about the movement, but had committed the position of Commission, which was a very important office. When Colonel Bowen left here he confessed he was in some doubt as to whether the movement would continue. Fortunately Mr. Waldegrave readily came forward to fill the office. He was glad to see that Mr. Waldegrave had consented to be nominated for a further term of office. (Applause).
His Excellency then handed the banner to the leader of the Sea Scouts and shook hands with him.
The Rev. Waldegrave presented a photo of the scouts taken at Happy Valley to His Excellency as a small souvenir.
The proceedings ended with a presentation made to Mr. B.Wylie, General Manager of the S.C.M. Post. The Commissioner said Mr. Wylie performed very valuable work in connection with the Jamboree by undertaking press advertising and all necessary printing work. As a token of appreciation the scouts wished to present him with a Thanks Badge, which entitled him to call on the services of all scouts at any time and anywhere.
His Excellency handed the badge to Mr. Wylie and shook hands with him.
Before he left the Governor was accorded three hearty cheers.