The Hongkong Telegraph.

Wednesday, December 15, 1926.
香港英十二月十五號 禮拜三
十一月十一日

No 22,042
Page 8

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HONGKONG BOY SCOUTS.
H.E. AT THE ANNUAL MEETING.

   A general outline of the scheme for the incorporation of the Hongkong Boys Scouts' Association, was given by His Excellency the Governor at the annual meeting held at St. John's Cathedral last evening when several other speakers also briefly commented upon the Ordinance which was being drafted by Sir Henry Pollock for consideration by the Legislative Council.
   His Excellency, the Chief Scout of Hongkong, presided and he was supported by the Hon. Dr. R.H.Kotewall (President of the Association), Rev. G.T.Waldegrave (Commissioner), Col. Robertson (Assistant Commissioner), Mr. A.White (Secretary), Mr. C.H.Blason (Treasurer), and the following members of the council, Sir Henry Pollock, Major General C.C.Luard, Sir Henry Gollan, Admiral Sir Edwyn A.Sinclair and Mrs. Southorn. Others present included the Hon. Sir Shouson Chow, the Hon. Mr. H.W.Bird, Mr. Wong Kwong-tin, Dr. S.W.T'so, Mr. W.W.Hornell C.I.E., Capt. H.B.L.Dowbiggin, Mr. E.Ralphs, Rev. J.Kirk Maconachie, Professor L.Forster, Mr. J.A.Fraser and numerous scout masters and members of the association.

The Annual Report.

   Mr. A.White giving the annual report said inter alia:- 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 Hongkong has continued to 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.
   Many projects which we have had in view have perforce been delayed for various reasons, in the main owing to the general unrest in China and its effect on the Colony, particularly financial. The most important of these, the formation of a Council, is being taken in hand today, and the next in importance, the organisation of 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, both of which actions have been under discussion for over a year, are being taken under the guidance of those most qualified to advise us.

The Financial Position.

   Financially we need more what may be termed regular revenue. 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, to enable them to keep going or to help them to start.
   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 even so this does not cover all outgoings, and we desire keenly to relieve our officers of much private expenditure which at present comes upon them.

Statistics.

Approximate Number of Scouts of all ranks in the Association … 420
Number of Troops … 20
Number of Wolf Cub Packs … 2
Number of Rover Scout Patrols … 2
Number of Instructors and Examiners, not including Scouter ... 42

 

His Excellency's Address.

   His Excellency was accorded an outburst of applause on rising to address the meeting. The Chief Scout said that the meeting had been called in order that the Association might be put on a firmer and he hoped a permanent footing. As they all know scouting began as a game for boys and aimed at teaching them to play the great game of life. It ended as a brotherhood of men of all creeds and races.
   To succeed, the movement had to have the goodwill and support of the Chinese community who formed by far the largest part of the Association in Hongkong. It was therefore a very great pleasure for him to welcome at the meeting as president, his old friend Dr. Kotewall, who enjoyed the very highest degree of respect of the Chinese community whom he very worthily represented on the Legislative Council. He was also held with very high regard by all the residents in the Colony.
   The fact that Dr. Kotewall had seen his way to accept the office, showed that although the Scout movement originated in Great Britain, it was capable of being acclimatised in this Colony.
   His Excellency then read the letter received from Lieut. General Sir Robert Baden Powell appointing Dr. Kotewall as president of the local Association.

Council Seats.

   Continuing His Excellency, said that the intention of the meeting was also to constitute a scout council for Hongkong and he was very glad to inform the meeting that H.E., the Naval Commander in Chief and H.E. the Officer Commanding the Troops had accepted the invitation to sit on the Council as did also the Chief Justice.
   His Excellency read Sir Henry Gollan's letter accepting the post, Sir Henry accepted with the greatest readiness and intimated that he would willingly perform any service required of him.
   His Excellency remarked that it was significant that if everybody accepted in that spirit he could predict a successful future.
   Referring to the Ordinance incorporating the Local Association, His Excellency said that the first steps would be preparing the Bill. The Scouts Association in the United Kingdom was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1912 with His Majesty the King as President and Sir Robert Baden Powell as Chief Scout.
   Hitherto, the local Association had been affiliated to the parent Association but it was desirable now that it should be incorporated and stand on its own feet, to have power to possess property, to sue and to be sued and to take a prominent position among the Associations of the Colony.
   His Excellency then derailed the objects which he said would be given by Sir Henry Pollock.
   Rev. Mr. Waldegrave spoke at length on the Scout movement and also referred to the Incorporation Ordinance. He said that from the statistics of the Imperial Headquarters the Local Association ranked on equal lines with the County Associations in England.
   The Hon. Dr. Kotewall, President, said that 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 in 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 extend 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 $10 a year. I am sure that this appeal will meet with a ready response from all sections of the community.
   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 the 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. (Applause).
   Sir Henry Pollock then detailed the objects of the Ordinance. He said that the first object was to protect the badges and uniforms of the Association. The Bill was to make it punishable for any unauthorised person to misuse the badges and scout uniforms. It was also to prevent unauthorised persons from forming organisations similar to the Scout movement and to stop persons from pretending to be scouts when they were not.
   A member brought up the question of the absence from the meeting of a representative of the second Hongkong Troop and after discussion the matter was left to the Council.
   A vote of thanks to His Excellency for presiding then closed the meeting.