The China Mail.
Hongkong, Friday, September 26, 1924.
BOYS AT WEMBLEY.
London, August 5.- A great audience appears small perhaps in the vastness of the Stadium arena, which yesterday had lost some of its freshness and showed a few spots that suggested puddles. Still, if there appeared, here and there, indications of vacancy, one had the consciousness of a great gathering. Whatever the conditions, they do not affect Scouts, who scoff at weather and all other circumstances, and sturdily live up to the promises they have made on joining. Yesterday, at the Empire Exhibition, they performed their allotted tasks with precision, lustiness of cheering, and a full consciousness of everything that is expected of a true, loyal, and devoted brotherhood of youth. It was all splendid add inspiring, and it told the story of the Empire and its development.
Scouts are dead "on time," and so to the stroke, the "grand entry" began. Before you swept with easy and regular movements representatives of the Dominions and the Colonies of all that makes our Empire. Somehow Kenya seemed to receive a large share of cheers that were given almost without intermission, but Kenya has been passing through her trials. And so the Empire moved along in growing strength. There came bands of brasses and of reeds, and the British flag was guarded by miniature blue jackets. Our little part of the world was safe as these youngsters, who represented our Empire, swung round and rallied to the emblem. The Stadium was encircled by browns and greys and blues and all our flags. There was a swift more to the centre, "God Save the King" was sung as only young voices can sing it, and three loyal cheers were given, sincere and ringing. It was a rally of voices that will change with the years, but while the note may alter the spirit of a Scout remains the same.
Then these youngsters scampered away, back to position, and in a second the arena was clear after shrieks and calls and greetings that are unknown to those who have the ill fortune to be moving towards middle age. The scene changed, and there followed an episode that made the youthful heart stir, and other hearts were transported back to the period of Fenimore Cooper. It was a Canadian historical episode by Harrow County School and Ealing Association. Everything was there - Red Indians, wigwams, dances, scouts of the old days, and a couple of white adventurers, who are supposed to be associated with the creation of the Hudson Bay Company. There is little need for scenery, the movement is sufficient stealthy and sinister strategy, with the aid of noises that are not phonetically reproductible. To those who have not forgotten the stories of their youth the scenario is complete. After the war dance, an ambush and capture, and amid much smoke from the fires the two "whites" are received into the brotherhood after the pipe of peace has been interchanged and smoked. The cheering that followed was astounding to the cars of the older folk, who never try to grow young. There were thousands who turned back the pages of life and felt for the moment as young as they did forty or fifty years ago - the ambush, the shots, the wounded, and the outposts stirred old memories, and all, as it ever should, ended happily.
There followed handball by the 4th St. Albans Troop, hurley (not a recently created name), by Irish Free State Scouts, a tug of war, bridge building by the 1st City of Westminster Troop, lariat throwing, fancy rope and skipping rope by Hastings and District, and an exhibition by Hartlepool and District of the Kirby Wolyeard sword dance. There were also tumbling and other gymnastics by the Carrs lane, 12th Gateshead, Nottingham Y.M.C.A., and 1st Herrington Troops. And the whole concluded with that glorious display of massed Highland dancing by the Scottish contingent, an invigorating spectacle of swift, rhythmic movement which aroused great enthusiasm.
Prince Arthur of Connaught will attend the "Jamboree" today, and the Duke of York tomorrow. It may be mentioned that there are 20,000 shilling sheats for each performance, and 9,000 standing places at 6d.