The Hongkong Telegraph.
Wednesday, January 23, 1929.
Page 2 & 13
HONGKONG BOY SCOUTS.
ASSOCIATION NEEDS MORE OFFICERS.
MR. BLASON LEAVING.
The need of more officers for the local branch of the Boy Scouts' Association was strongly stressed at the annual meeting held at St. John's Cathedral Hall yesterday evening under the chairmanship of His Excellency the Governor (Sir Cecil Clementi), Chief Scout of Hongkong who was supported by the Hon. Dr. R.H.Kotewall (President), the Rev. G.T.Waldegrave (Commissioner) and other officers of the Association.
Sir Cecil Clementi was loudly applauded on rising to address the gathering. His Excellency said:
Gentlemen, I have the advantage, which you have not yet had, of reading the report of last year's working of the Hongkong branch of the Boy Scouts' Association. I am, therefore, able to congratulate the Council and its Executive Committee on very good work done during 1928. The Boy Scouts now form an important element in the educational system of this Colony, and their influence is likely to increase year by year. It is, therefore, essential that we should proceed upon sound lines, and our greatest need at the moment is to obtain adequately trained officers for every branch. The training of officers in England is often undertaken in the large public schools, where boys in the highest classes are encouraged to go through a special course, in order to fit themselves to become Scout Masters. I saw this work being done at Marlborough College and was impressed by the results which may be expected from it. Perhaps something of this kind could be started in Hongkong. While in England, I also had the opportunity of meeting the Chief Scout, Sir Robert Baden Powell, who takes a very keen interest in the work done by the Hongkong branch of the Boy Scouts' Association, and who, I am sure, would wish me to give you his greetings on this occasion. (Applause).
Loss to Association.
We are about to lose two gentlemen, who have done a great deal for Scouting in Hongkong. Mr. Blason, as Assistant Commissioner, has been an enthusiastic worker, and has earned from our Boy Scouts the soubriquet of "King of Shek-O." (Applause). His Excellency General Luard has also taken a very keen interest in the Scout movement in Hongkong and both he and Mrs. Luard have repeatedly placed the grounds of Headquarter House at the disposal of the Association. In him and in Mr. Blason the Boy Scouts of Hongkong will lose good friends, and I can only hope that their successors will be equally interested in the Scout movement. (Hear hear) I now call upon the Honorary Secretary to read the annual report. (Applause).
The Hon. Secretary, Mr. A.S.Mitchell before reading the report, mentioned that letters had been received from the Hon. Mr. W.T.Southorn and Mrs. Southorn, the Bishop of Victoria and Bishop Valtorta, expressing regret at being unable to be present at the meeting.
In presenting the report for the past year, Mr. Mitchell said:
The Wolf Cub Packs, the junior section, have been fortunate in acquiring Mr. W.H.Smith as District Cubmaster. He came to us with a record of long experience and faithful service in England, and immediately accepted invitation to take in hand the development of the Cub Branch in this Association. Though he has so far had little time to spare, his efforts have resulted in marked growth in the right direction, and if only we could get enough helpers the boundless chances offering would be eagerly seized. We may say here that ladies make excellent Cubmasters. We pay warm tribute to the self denial and hard work of those Cubmasters of both sexes who are already carrying on this very important section of Scout activity (Applause).
The Boy Scout Troops, including the Sea Scouts, have increased from 22 to 24, but of the original 22 one was practically moribund, and ceased to exist early in the year, so that the gain is three new Troops. Again the growth would have been for greater had we been able to supply the urgent demand for suitable Scoutmasters. Those we have are working short handed, and, taking everything into consideration, are doing wonders. Unfortunately several found the time required more than they were able to spare and had to resign, but we are none the less appreciative of the splendid work they have all put in. Mr. White, our District Scoutmaster, has found himself handicapped in the same way, but we hope in the near future to be able to give him the extra help he so urgently needs. We should be sorry to lose the valuable services of one who has been closely connected with Hongkong Scouting for so many years.
The Rover Scouts Crews have unfortunately progressed least of the three sections. Again the cause had largely been lack of Rover Leaders. This Branch of Scouting is probably the most difficult to run, and so far its special aims and methods have hardly been grasped sufficiently well for us to expect great advance. However, our old friend Mr. Champkin has nobly undertaken the oversight of this section during his all too short sojourn in the Colony, and we look for tremendous strides forward in the near future. (Applause). There were two fine patrols of Rover Scouts formed from men in the Destroyer Flotilla who left perforce when that Flotilla was recalled, but we are glad to say that many of them, with Mr. Blason in charge, will probably represent Hongkong at the Imperial Jamboree in England next August. (Applause).
Taking the growth of the movement locally it has been most vigorous on the other side of the Harbour, and there is a large field yet to be covered in that direction. We note that Schools are coming more and more to realise the value of Scouting as a real help in character training. The new Scout Troops are all Chinese, in camp Scout training has its greatest possibilities. There has also been far more "hike camping," two or three boys together, for one or two nights, than in previous years.
The usual Banner competition rallies took place in the grounds of Headquarter House in the Spring and Autumn. We feel we cannot sufficiently express our gratitude to His Excellency Major General and Mrs. Luard for all they have done for us. The Thanks Badges presented to them at the Autumn really were but very small tokens of our genuine appreciation of their great kindness and our affection for them personally, and we earnestly wish them "God speed" when they leave Hongkong. (Applause). The Prince of Wales Banner has been again won by the 1st Sea Scouts for work done in 1928. We sincerely hope that this year will see some other Troop coming in first, though, for it is not good for one troop always to be winning, either for itself or for the other troops.
The local Headquarters Staff has been very fortunate in obtaining two very efficient secretaries. First of all, Mr. J.A.Worswick, and then, when he was moved to the Dutch East Indies, Mr. A.S.Mitchell took over the onerous duties connected with that post. Mr. Mitchell had much experience in the same work in Calcutta, and we warmly congratulate ourselves on acquiring him. (Applause). The difference both these gentlemen have made in the office side of the working has been most marked and very valuable. Scoutmaster Ip Choi-hing, in charge of Headquarters, was appointed Assistant Secretary, a post which he has filled most ably.
Mr. W.K.Tait, on the appointment of Mr. C.H.Blason as Assistant Commissioner, kindly accepted the post of Assistant Treasurer, thus setting Mr. Blason more at liberty for his additional duties. Mr. Tail's part in the running of the Association is a very important one, which he has, needless to any filled with great advantage to Scouting in Hongkong.
Mr. Blason, who is about to leave us, has from the very first day on which he joined this Association thrown himself wholeheartedly into every branch of our activities. Even when on home leave he took a course at the Scout Officers' Training Camp and represented Hongkong at the Wembley Jamboree in 1924. His bungalow and garden at Shek-O have been a boon and a blessing to Scouts and scouters alike, and we can hardly think of camping there in future without seeing "The King of Shek O," as a Scout entitled him in a Journey Report, keeping careful watch over the invaders of his Realm. The arduous duties of Editor of the Silver Wolf fell upon his capable shoulders, and his experience as a skilled photographer has been responsible for many of the really artistic pictures which have been published in that little periodical, while many articles from his pen, fact, fiction, poetry, amusing, instructive and even musical, have done most to make its pages bright and interesting. His departure will, we fear, leave a very big gap in our ranks. (Applause).
The financial side of the movement needs here but brief mention, but we deeply appreciate the making of a per capita grant from Government Funds, also the raising of the magnificent sum of $4,000 by three friends at the request of our zealous and hard working President, the Hon Dr. R.H.Kotewall (applause), to whose ever ready advice and assistance we owe so much. Much hard work on our behalf has been put in by the Members of Council under his Chairmanship and to them all we express our sincere thanks.
According to the statement of accounts the total expense of the Association for the past year was $2,329.63 while only $620 were received in subscriptions. There would have been a great deficit but for the money raised by the President.
Dr. Kotewall, in addressing the meeting, said: First of all I should like to express the great pleasure we feel in having back with us and present at this meeting His Excellency the Chief Scout whose unflagging interest in our work has been a constant source of inspiration and encouragement to us. (Applause.)
Continuing, Dr. Kotewall said:
I am glad that fitting tribute has been paid to our Assistant Commissioner and Honorary Treasurer, Mr. C.H.Blason, who is soon to leave us. It is now nearly seven years since Mr. Blason joined the Hongkong Branch and no one, except our Commissioner, has made a greater contribution to its success. In spite of the already onerous duties assigned to him, he has always contrived to find time to help in all the activities of the Association, and with that quiet efficiency which we have learned to expect of him. He takes a keen personal interest in the boys who love him as they respect him. Though he is not coming back, his connexion with us will, fortunately, be preserved for a little while longer, for he will represent us in the next Imperial Jamboree. On your behalf I thank him most warmly for his splendid services, and wish him a very happy and long life in retirement. (Applause.)
A Note of Warning.
There is no need for me to repeat what has been said so often as to the objects and merits of the Boy Scouts Movement. But I should like to sound a note of warning to the boys, and even to those in immediate charge of them. There is always a danger that attempts will be made to introduce politics into a great movement like ours. A politician is often looking for means to bring about ends which may be admirable in themselves, but destructive to the organisation he seeks to capture and use for his own purpose. Scouting must never be used as a means to ends other than its own. Politics have their place, but that place is not in the Boy Scouts Movement which must ever remain nonpolitical, nonmilitary and international, if it is to survive. I would earnestly entreat the scoutmasters to impress this upon their boys, and to inculcate in them the true Scout spirit which is Fellowship and Service to all, irrespective of creed or race. (Applause.)
Dr. Kotewall proposed the adoption of the report and statement of accounts, which on being seconded by Mr. C.Champkin, were carried unanimously.
The Rev. Mr. Waldegrave expressed thanks to those who had helped the Association other than on the Council. He mentioned the men who had given assistance in many ways.
The following officers were then elected: President, the Hon. Dr. Kotewall; Vice President, Mr. H.R.B.Hancock, Hon. Secretary, Mr. A.S.Mitchell, Hon. Treasurer, Mr. T.N.Chau. The following gentlemen were elected to serve on the Council in addition to those already serving: Commodore Hill, Mr. T.H.King, Mr. C.Champkin (District Rover Leader), Mr. W.H.Smith (District Cubmaster), Mr. B.Wylie, a representative of the Tung Wah Hospital Committee and a representative of the South China Athletic Association.
The executive Committee was elected as follows:
Chairman, Hon. Dr. R.H.Kotewall, C.M.G., LL.D., vice Chairman, Mr. H.R.B.Hancock, Rev. G.T.Waldegrave, Mr. C.H.Blason, Lt. Col. T.A.Robertson, Mr. A.S.Mitchell, Mr. T.N.Chau, Mr. C.Champkin, the Hon. Sir Shouson Chow, Mr. T.H.King, the Hon. Sir. Henry Pollock and Mr. A.White.