Hongkong Daily Press.
Hongkong, Wednesday, December 15th, 1926.
HONG KONG BOY SCOUTS.
COLONIAL SCOUT COUNCIL TO BE FORMED.
H.E. THE GOVERNOR AND THE MOVEMENT.
PRESIDENT'S STIRRING ADDRESS.
The annual meeting of the Boy Scouts' Association (Hong Kong Branch) was held at St. John's Cathedral Hall yesterday evening, when H.E. the Governor (Sir Cecil Clementi, K.C.M.G., Chief Scout of Hong Kong), presided. Others present included the Hon. Dr. R.H.Kotewall, President of the Hong Kong Boy Scouts' Association, Sir Henry Pollock, K.C., Sir Henry Gollan, K.C. (the Chief Justice), Admiral Sir Edwyn Alexander Sinclair, Major General C.C.Luard, Sir Shou-son Chow, the Hon. Mr. H.W.Bird, the Hon. Mr. H.T.Creasy, Mrs. Southorn and the Rev. G.T.Waldegrave (Scout Commissioner).
The Annual Report.
The annual report, which was read by Mr. A.White, the Hon. Secretary of the Association, was as under:-
It is satisfactory to be able to record that in spite of the troubles through which this part of the Far East is now passing, and occasional setbacks, the lot of any organisation, Scouting in Hong Kong has continued to make an advance. The number of Scouts of all ranks, as shown by the census taken at the end of September, has increased, and two new Troops have been formed.
Our late Chief Scout, Sir R.E.Stubbs, K.C.M.G., relinquished the post on leaving the Colony. We gratefully acknowledge much valuable help which he rendered the Association. At the invitation and request of Imperial Headquarters, His Excellency Sir Cecil Clementi, K.C.M.G., on his appointment as Governor of Hong Kong, accepted the office of Chief Scout, bringing with him first hand knowledge of the needs and aims of the Movement gained by close contact with it as President of the Ceylon Branch of the Association. His presence in the chair today is ample evidence, were any needed, of his continued interest and support. (Applause.)
We record with deep regret the loss sustained by the Association by the death of our first President, the Hon. Mr. P.H.Holyoak. Notwithstanding ill health he always managed to attend our various functions, and only a few days before leaving the Colony he came to one of our Camp Fires, and at that most intimate of Scout assemblies gave us a message of encouragement and advice. We therefore consider ourselves very fortunate when His Excellency persuaded the Hon. Dr. Kotewall to succeed Mr. Holyoak as President. (Applause.) We take this opportunity formally to welcome him as such. Since his acceptance of the post, he has thrown himself wholeheartedly into the work.
Many projects have perforce been delayed for various reasons, in the main owing to the general unrest in China and its effect on the Colony. The formation of a Council, is, however, being taken in hand today, and the next in importance, a Training Camp for Officers, only awaits a favourable opportunity for completion, while the necessary steps for the Incorporation of the Association locally and the passing of a Protection Ordinance, are being taken under the best guidance.
The Association Headquarters is now a going concern, with a special department for the sale of equipment. The value of this Department has been proved by the way in which it is patronised both by troops and individual scouts. We are extremely grateful to His Excellency and the Colonial Government for putting so suitable a place at our disposal.
The "Silver Wolf."
The Association Magazine, the Silver Wolf, is now being published as quarterly paper under the able editorship of Mr. C.W.Blason, our Honorary Treasurer. The Girl Guides' Association has recently arranged to share this paper with the Scouts, and in future Girl Guide news and articles will have a place in its pages. (Applause.) This is but one way in which the two Associations are cooperating, and we wish all success to the present effort being made by the Girl Guides to extend in the Colony.
Financially we need more permanent support. We have practically no other source of income than subscriptions, and money earned by concerts and other similar displays. While each Troop is largely responsible for raising its own funds, the Association has frequently to make grants to new or necessitous Troops. Association expenses are also heavy and likely to increase, especially when the Officers' Training Courses commence as a regular part of the year's work. The Colonial Government has made us in the past a valuable grant for both these purposes, but this does not cover all outgoings, and we desire to relieve our officers of much private expenditure which at present comes upon them.
The Year's Record.
Scout activities during the past year have been along the usual lines, Competition Rallies, Swimming Sports, and the Display in the early summer. Most troops have spent periods of varying lengths. under canvas. On the whole camps when visited have shown marked improvement in Scoutcraft, but the need of a properly organised Training Camp for Officers is keenly felt, and this is one of our plans which has perforce been delayed.
The Prince of Wales' Banner, awarded for general efficiency, has been won by the youngest troop but one, the 20th. The Swimming Sports recently held do not come within the period under review, but we wish to express our thanks to the Hon Mr. H.W.Bird and to our President for the gift of two Challenge Cups for the winners and runners up respectively, for annual completion. (Applause.)
A Display was given by the Troops in the early Summer. The fact that heavy rain just before the proceedings were due to begin made it necessary to alter our plans almost at the last moment did not prevent the boys from showing our friends the wide scope of Scout Training. On that occasion His Excellency the Chief Scout presented a Silver Cross for Gallantry to one of the Scoutmasters and Letters of Commendation to some Scouts for public service. Two others also received special mention.
We conclude this Report by expressing our thanks to all friends and supporters who have given assistance to the Movement. Our aim is to decentralise the work as far as possible, in order to leave the Scoutmasters free to devote all their energies to the task of training the boys with the principal object of character development. This cannot be done without considerable help from outside, and it is for this help we are calling. But most of all we need Scoutmasters able and willing to give up the time required for running Troops men who have grasped the spirit of Scouting, not only in its local aspect, with all the possibilities which this Colony presents, but also in its aspect as a great Worldwide Brotherhood, an International Fellowship which can do much to render war an evil of the past. (Applause.)
The Approximate Number of Scouts of all ranks in the Association were 420; Number of Troops, 20; Number of Wolf Cub Packs, 2; Number of Rover Scout Patrols, 2; Number of Instructors and Examiners, not including Scouters, 42.
The statement of accounts was outlined by Mr. Blason. The report and accounts were unanimously adopted.
"The Great Game of Life."
His Excellency, addressing the gathering, said that the meeting had been called in order that the Boy Scouts' Association of Hong Kong should be put on a firmer and more permanent footing. The Scout movement began as a game for boys and to teach boys to play the great game of life. It was a brotherhood for boys and later for men of all creeds and races. His Excellency felt it a great pleasure to welcome as president, his old friend Dr. Kotewall who enjoyed the very highest regard of the Chinese community, whom he so worthily represented on the Legislative Council. Dr. Kotewall was, moreover, held in high regard by all the residents of the Colony. (Applause.)
Continuing, His Excellency said that it gave him great pleasure to give Dr. Kotewall his letter of appointment from the Chief Scout in the United Kingdom.
Chief Justice's Interest.
In connection with the forming of a Scout Council in Hong Kong His Excellency said that he was glad to tell them that the senior naval and military officers had accepted positions in the Council, and also the Chief Justice. His Excellency then read out a letter received from Sir Henry Gollan in which the latter stated that he accepted the invitation to membership on the Council with the greatest pleasure, and that any services which he could render in forwarding its objects would be gladly given. (Applause.) "If only all the members of the Council will show that spirit," added His Excellency, "there will be a great future for the Scout Association of Hong Kong."
His Excellency then referred to the proposed Ordinance for incorporating all the Scouts in Hong Kong. The Scout Association in the United Kingdom, he said, was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1912, with His Majesty the King as President and Sir Robert Baden Powell as Chief Scout. The Hong Kong Association had been affiliated to the parent association, but now it was proposed to make it a permanent institution amongst the institutions of the Colony. (Applause.)
The Rev. G.T.Waldegrave spoke on the status of the Colonial Association, and said that it ranked with that of the County Association in England.
The President's Speech.
The Hon. Dr. R.H.Kotewall addressed the gathering as follows:
Your Excellency and gentlemen,- I thank you most sincerely for your cordial welcome, and I also thank His Excellency for his very kind reference to my appointment as President of the Hong Kong Branch of this Association, I accepted the appointment with considerable misgiving and much reluctance, for not only was I keenly sensible of its responsibilities, but I also realised more keenly the difficulty of following in the footsteps of such an able, keen and hardworking President as the late Mr. Holyoak. However, you have in me the will to serve the interests of the Association, and the readiness to cooperate at all times with its officers and Scoutmasters, on whom the real hard work devolves, to the best of my ability. I should like to take this opportunity of testifying to the splendid work of the Commissioner. Mr. Waldegrave has given a great deal of his time to the work of the Association, both indoors and outdoors, and only those who closely associate with him as I do, can fully realise the arduous and, at times, trying nature of his duties.
As His Excellency has already dealt with the necessity for protecting by legislation the interests of the Association and the Commissioner has mentioned the need of local incorporation, it only remains for me to express our warmest thanks to the Hon. Sir Henry Pollock for having so kindly undertaken to draft the necessary Bills for introduction in the Legislative Council to give effect to those two objects.
The presence of His Excellency the Commander in Chief and His Excellency the General Officer Commanding, as well as that of His Honour the Chief Justice, Mrs. Southorn and so many other leading citizens is evidence of the deep interest they take in the movement, and is a great encouragement to us.
A Progressive Movement.
Though the aims of the Boy Scout movement are well known to you, I should like, for the benefit of those outside the Association, to emphasise the fact that Boy Scouting is non military and non political, and is without distinction, of class or race. On these lines the system has grown, and on these lines it continues to grow and flourish throughout the world. During the last two years, the number of Boy Scouts has increased by over 300,000; and during the same period in this Colony it increased to such an extent that at one time the supply of available efficient officers was severely taxed. With the increase in numbers our expenses have gone up proportionately. We need more income; and it has occurred to us that the best way to secure it and to secure it regularly, is to appeal for more members, the fee being only $5 a year. I am sure that this appeal will meet with a ready response from all sections of the community.
Bulwark Against Bolshevism.
Gentlemen, in the Boy Scouts movement I see a great and effective influence making for the betterment of the world. It is a system which trains our youth to become good citizens, to be men of character and usefulness men who are self reliant and resourceful, who know the value of discipline and good order, and who are inspired by a sense of service to their neighbours. Such men will, to my mind, constitute the strongest bulwark against Bolshevism and Communism, the two evil forces which today threaten to subvert law and order, and to deprive us of our rights and liberty.
Sir Henry Pollock briefly outlined the bill in connection with the incorporation of the local Association.
A vote of thanks to His Excellency terminated the meeting.