Hongkong Daily Press.
Hongkong, Thursday, May 13th, 1926.
COLONY'S BOY SCOUTS.
FINE DISPLAY GIVEN BEFORE H.E. THE GOVERNOR.
PRESENTATION TO S.M. BRAGA.
Owing to the threatening weather yesterday afternoon, a decision had to be reached by 2.30 p.m, whether to hold the Scouts Rally on Murray Parade Ground, as arranged, or to move to a place where a covered half would be available. Eventually it was decided to hold the display at the H.K.V.D.C. parade ground, where the drill hall would be available in case of need.
As matters turned out the change of venue was unfortunate as the weather was fine and the Volunteer parade ground proved too small to allow of the original programme being carried out.
Under the circumstances, the Rev. G.T.Waldegrave, M.A. (Commissioner and Deputy Camp Chief), Colonel T.A.Robertson, O.B.E. (Assistant Commissioner), Mr. A.White (District Scoutmaster in control of the Scouts), the other officers and the troops and packs who took part are to be heartily congratulated upon a most excellent display under very trying conditions.
H.E. the Governor (Sir Cecil Clementi, K.C.M.G.), the Chief Scout of Hongkong, who was accompanied by Lady Clementi and attended by Captain H.B.L. Dowbiggin (Hon. A.D.C.), was met on arrival by Mr. Waldegrave, the Scouts and Wolt Cubs standing at the salute while the opening bars of the National Anthem were played by the band of H.M.S. Durban.
It is of interest to note that the band which was lent for the occasion by kind permission of the Captain and Officers of H.M.S. Durban is composed of volunteer blue jackets, under the baton of C.P.O. Harman. They proved themselves a most able body of musicians and added much to the afternoon's enjoyment.
The Chief Scout inspected this parade, 430 strong, shaking hands with the officer in charge of each troop.
Then followed displays by various troops and packs, His Excellency evincing the keenest interest in the first aid work of the 13th H.K. Yingwa Troop, under S.M. K.U.Lo.
Jiujitsu and Japanese fencing by two Scoutmasters of the Japanese Troop won much applause, as did the Highland dancing of the 9th Troop (Taikoo Scottish) under S.M. A.McPhedran, to the accompaniment of Pipe Major P.D.Wilson of the H.K.V.D.C.
The 8th, 14th and 15th Troops (under S.M. Chak) gave a fine demonstration of bamboo tower construction.
The 2nd Troops (St. Andrew's, Kowloon), under S.M. T.E.Jackson, in their pyramid display, proved themselves thoroughly efficient in a by no means easy task.
The 1st Sea Scouts, under Chief Yeoman of Signals Smith, of H.M.S. Tamar, demonstrated in truly realistic manner how a fleet is manoeuvred, at sen, each scout representing a warship. The lads did wonderfully well under very cramped conditions.
The combined display of fire fighting (20th Troop), ambulance work (1st Troop), signalling (6th Troop) and use of the cycle stretcher was also well executed. Mr. Harold Chan, a sub officer from the Central Fire Station, was well rewarded for the time he has spent on the instruction in fire fighting. The whole movement from the time the main body formed a wedge to make a passage through the crowd for the fire appliances, until the "injured" were carried away on improvised stretchers slung from three bicycles, was carried out without a hitch.
So realistic was the jumping from the roof of the drill hall into the "sheet" that many of the ladies present could not refrain from screaming.
The Wolf Cubs under Mrs. G.E.Arrowsmith and Miss Fleming (who took the place of Mrs. Melville Smith, who was unfortunately taken unwell early in the afternoon) vied with their elder brethren and gave some capital displays during the Rally.
At the conclusion of the displays, the Scouts formed hollow square while the Chief Scout made the presentations.
The Commissioner (Rev. G.T.Waldegrave) first asked His Excellency to present the Prince of Wales' Banner to the Saiyingpun Troop, who have won it for their work during part of 1924 and in 1925. Mr. Waldegrave stated that competition for the Banner is exceptionally keen. It had been won by Saiyingpun Troop chiefly for their work in the troop - that is for help boys to pass for 1st and 2nd class badges. A good deal of hard work was entailed in each case. Last year had not been a normal one, and work had been considerably interfered with when the Scouts were doing duty during the Strike. The fact that the Saiyingpun Troop had won the Banner did not signify that they had shirked their duties during the Strike; on the other hand, it emphasised that they had managed to carry on both jobs under great difficulties.
The Chief Scout then handed the Banner to the Troop, speaking a few words of congratulation. The other Scouts came to the salute and gave three cheers for the Saiyingpun Troop as they carried off the Banner.
Then followed the presentation of the Silver Cross to Scoutmaster H.Braga for gallant conduct during the Po Hing Fong Rescue Work.
The Silver Cross was accompanied by a parchment scroll, which rends:
"This certificate is granted to Hugh Braga of the 1st Hongkong (St. Joseph's College) Troop, as evidence that I have awarded him the Silver Cross in recognition of his gallant conduct in rescuing a young girl from the ruins of a collapsed house in Hongkong, on July 18th, 1925.
(Sgd.) ROBERT BADEN POWELL,
After His Excellency had pinned the Silver Cross on Mr. Braga's breast, the Scouts gave three cheers, in which the spectators joined.
Letters of Commendation were presented to Kwok Mok Hoi, of the 13th Troop and to Kow Chan of the 1st Troop, for good services rendered.
The former had rendered first aid on two occasions in January, once to a wounded man, and once to an injured lad. Two boys, who had assisted him, were also mentioned.
Kow Chan's commendation was for good services rendered on behalf of the public health.
Seeing the door closed and joss sticks burning daily outside a certain house, he used his Scout sense to ascertain what was behind the closed door and was able to report "a hidden case of smallpox," thereby possibly preventing an epidemic.
Messrs. Ernest Zimmern and Ho Pak Ping then "took the promise" and received certificates as Assistant Scoutmasters.
The Commissioner (Rev. G.T.Waldegrave), in addressing the Chief Scout, said in part:-
Though the opportunity of extending the welcome of the Scouts of Hongkong to Your Excellency and Lady Clementi has been delayed, it is none the less warm for that, more especially as before your arrival we had heard of your keen interest in the welfare of the movement in Ceylon, an interest of which you have already given us no uncertain evidence. We have tried this afternoon to show you and our other friends something of what Scouts can do, and we hope that you understand that the training goes far deeper than this, and that this display is a mere nothing compared with the whole range covered by Scouting.
Circumstances have from time to time, and more especially of Iate, given Hongkong Scouts opportunities to test the value of the training, and we know that it is your wish as it is ours that this training should be more widely extended in the Colony. Great strides towards this end have recently been made.
Our Headquarters is a going concern, though more has yet to be done there before we can say that it is completely fitted out for the purpose for which it is intended - not only an office but also a Club and a training centre. We are also engaged in organising a strong Council with a view to incorporating the Association locally and to safeguarding the uniform and badges. Then we have before us the important work of developing ground in Junk Bay for Training Camp purposes, the importance of this lying in the fact that the greatest capable of and willing to give up the necessary time. That a man knows nothing about Scouting need be so deterrent, we all started in the same state of ignorance and had to learn by experience, but this training camp when properly organised with periodical courses both written and practical will go a long way towards relieving both present and prospective officers of that disability.
Like everyone and everything else we need increased financial support, but may I conclude by repeating our oft made appeal for officers and yet more officers, assuring any concerned that any self denial made will prove its worth over and over again.
CHIEF SCOUT'S ADDRESS.
His Excellency then addressed the Commissioner and the Scouts and Wolf Cubs. The Chief Scout congratulated them very sincerely on the display they had given. He said that it had been very good, but he looked for a steady improvement in efficiency and an increase in numbers. He trusted they would all continue their keen interest in scouting and continue to show that fine spirit with which they had met the challenges of Bolshevism last year and that in future the Colony would hear no more of school strikes. The Boy Scouts now formed a World Brotherhood and His Excellency charged them to see that this Brotherhood was continued in after years.
In conclusion, the Chief Scout pledged his support in every matter in which he could be of assistance.
The signing of the National Anthem and cheers for the Chief Scout with "hats on staves" brought proceedings to a close.
Among the large gathering present the Girl Guides and Brownies were much in evidence.
Colonel Robertson was in charge of the seating arrangements and D.S.M. White (Hon. Secretary) in control of the Scouts. The sudden change of programme naturally threw an extra amount of labour on their shoulders which, however, following the example of the Commissioner, they looked upon as "all in the day's work."