The Hongkong Telegraph.
Thursday, December 19, 1929.
Page 5, 6 & 11
LOCAL BOY SCOUTS ASSOCIATION.
GROWTH OF THE MOVEMENT DESCRIBED.
The value of the acquisition of a site for a permanent officers' training camp and scouts' camping ground at Saiwan was explained by the Rev. G.T.Waldegrave, Commissioner, at the annual meeting of the Hongkong branch of the Boy Scouts' Association, in St. John's Cathedral Hall yesterday, under the chairmanship of the Hon. Dr. R.H.Kotewall.
The Hon. Dr. Kotewall, in his presidential speech, said:- "l very much regret that His Excellency the Governor, who is our local Chief Scout, is unable through pressure of public duties to come and preside at this meeting. That duty has consequently devolved upon me as President of the Association.
I will not attempt a review of the past year's work, as it will be given in the Report to be presented by the Honorary Secretary. That Report which has been prepared by our hardworking Commissioner, the Rev. G.T.Waldegrave, will reveal to you another year of good work performed cheerfully and with singleness of purpose by all officers of the Association, from the Commissioner down to the newest scoutmaster.
We will soon lose - happily, only for a time - the valuable services of Mr. Waldegrave, who is going Home on a well earned holiday. In Mr. Waldegrave the Association is fortunate in possessing as its chief executive officer one whose experience and knowledge of boys are probably unrivalled in the Colony, whose enthusiasm for the movement knows no bounds, and who in spite of the various other heavy calls upon his time, has shown a devotion to his work which only one who performs his duty as a labour of love is able to show. I am afraid that the strenuousness of his multifarious duties has been a great strain, and I am therefore glad, for his sake, that he is about to take a much needed rest. We wish him a very pleasant voyage and a holiday that will be a real relaxation to him.
We are fortunate in having secured the consent of Mr. C.Champkin to act as Deputy Commissioner, and to perform the duties of the Commissioner during the absence on leave of. Mr. Waldegrave. Mr. Champkin who has proven himself to be a very keen and popular scouter, has once acted in this capacity, with signal success.
It is with great pleasure that I associate myself with the tribute that is paid in the Report to Mr. C.H.Blason, Col. T.A.Robertson, Mr. A.White, Mr. Alfred J.Lane, Mr. Mitchell, our Honorary Secretary, and Mr. Ip Choi-hing, our Assistant Secretary; and I should also like, as President of the Association, to express my sincere thanks to all officers and officials for their splendid work and devotion to duty, which have enabled us to look back upon another year of real progress.
I am very sorry to announce that Mr. Richard Hancock has just intimated to me that he does not desire reelection as Vice President as he is shortly going away on a holiday for nine months. I know that you will receive this announcement with great regret, as Mr. Hancock has been Vice President of the Association since its formation in 1920, and has rendered very valuable services to it. Our regret is, however, tempered by the hope that his services may again be available to the Association on his return. We wish him bon voyage and a restful holiday.
It is a matter of great regret to me, as it must be to you all, that circumstances have prevented His Excellency Sir Cecil Clementi from coming to this meeting. I know that he is with us in spirit. No one has shown a greater interest in the Scout movement in this Colony than has His Excellency. In spite of the strain and stress of pressing and onerous occupations, he has always been more than ready to give us the benefit of his wise counsels and guidance, and of his practical encouragement and active support which have substantially contributed to the success we have attained in recent years.
It may interest you to know that on the 3rd December the Brownies who are in the Girl Guides Association, and the Wolf Cubs who are in our Association, were entertained at tea by Lady Clementi at Government House. Before tea the Brownies had competitions and games, while the Cubs had a competition; and opportunity was taken by the two Associations to express their thanks to Lady Clementi for all her kind interest in both organisations. This was but one instance of the very many evidences of sympathetic support for which both Guides and Scouts owe a deep debt of gratitude to His Excellency the Governor and Lady Clementi who, I feel sure, see in the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides movement one way of attaining that end which they have so much at heart and towards which they have laboured so strenuously and with already such success, namely, a better understanding and closer cooperation among the various nationalities. Their approaching departure from these shores is an irreparable loss to our movement as to the Colony, and we wish them continued success in the new and wider sphere of their work.
In the Report mention is made of the close and increasing cooperation between the Girl Guides and Boy Scouts. I think it but right to say that this happy result is mainly due to the keenness shown on the one side by the Girl Guides Commissioner, Mrs. Southorn, and on the other side by our indefatigable Commissioner, Mr. Waldegrave. During Mrs. Southorn's absence, this good work was worthily carried on by Miss Jaques.
The Training Camp.
The acquirement of a property at Saiwan as a training camp for Boy Scouts is mentioned in some detail in the Report. This property is situated on an ideal site, and its acquisition has met a long felt want, and will undoubtedly go far to raise the efficiency of the officers and Troops, and to knit them yet closer together. But this acquisition has also been a severe drain on our financial resources which have never been in a flourishing condition. I therefore make a strong appeal to all who take an interest in the movement and believe that it is doing good to society, to come to our aid. In the first instance I would appeal to all to come to our Grand Coming of Age Concert and Display which will be given in the Theatre Royal on Saturday next under the distinguished patronage of His Excellency the Governor. By doing this, not only will you assist in a deserving cause, but you will, I am sure, also derive pleasure from what I can promise you to be a good show well worth your money.
On Saturday, the 11th January, the training camp at Saiwan will be formally opened by Mrs. W.T.Southorn, to whom we owe another debt of gratitude. To this function we hope to welcome a good and representative attendance of our sympathisers.
There is yet another way in which our friends could assist us in a more permanent form. I ask them to become members of the Association. The annual subscription is only $10, and for this sum members receive a copy of the "Silver Wolf," the organ of the Association, which is a costly magazine to produce but is a useful record of the activities and interests of the Association.
Ladies and gentlemen, I let my appeal go forth to the public without expatiating on the aims and merits of the movement, so well known are they to all. I feel that I need but make the appeal to meet with a hearty response.
Extracts from the annual report, which was very lengthy, are appended:
The outstanding event of the Scout year in Hongkong was of course the opportunity given a contingent from our Association to be inspected by H.R.H. the Duke of Gloucester, in company with similar representatives of the Girl Guides and the St. John Ambulance Brigade.
After a reference to the Prince of Wales' Banner Competition and the annual swimming sports, the report remarks that as regards the boys themselves the most marked advance has been made in the Wolf Cub Section.
The Scout Troops have decreased in number, but this is due to the fact that three troops have amalgamated, forming one large one. One new Troop has come into being, and steps are being taken to get two more started, an All Indian one and one at the Cheung Chau Government School.
Sea Scouts Flourishing.
The Sea Scouts are flourishing, though there is still only one Group. This may be accounted for by the fact that it is infinitely more expensive to run Sea Scouts than ordinary Scouts and also that it is unwise to take liberties with the sea.
The Rover Scout Section is becoming increasingly vigorous under the leadership of Scouters able to devote their energies to that work. The numbers have not much increased, but there is more of the right Rover spirit about.
At Headquarters the principal changes have been that the two Assistant Commissioners with whom we started the year have resigned, Mr. Blason on leaving for England, Col. Robertson from lack of time to give up to the ever increasing demands which Scouting makes on all its officers.
We are delighted to report that Mr. Champkin has now been able to rejoin us as Assistant Commissioner and Mr. C.G.H.Christian has taken Col. Robertson's place. No evidence of the keenness of these two Officers is required in this Report, their energy being well known.
On Mr. Blason relinquishing the post of Hon. Treasurer, Mr. T.N.Chau kindly accepted the post. Mr. W.K.Tait, who was Hon. Assist. Treasurer, on leaving Hongkong handed over his books to Mr. D.Black.
Mr. A.White, District Scoutmaster, has unfortunately for us resigned. He was one of the earliest executive officers in the Association, and as first Scoutmaster of the 4th Troop Iaid the solid foundation which has enabled that Troop to keep going through many vicissitudes.
To all friends who as members of the Council and its Executive Committee or as examiners and instructors have rendered help we offer our sincere thanks, and especially to H.E. Sir Cecil Clementi, our local Chief Scout, whose interest and support has been unfailing and whose coming departure we view with sincere regret.
Notes on the Headquarter Staff are concluded with expressions of thanks to Mr. A.S.Mitchell for his valuable work as secretary, and to the Hon. Dr. R.H.Kotewall for the great help he had rendered as President.
After reference to finance, proposed changes from ordinary constitution, and the need for a training camp, the report expresses gratitude to Mr. A.J.Lane, who accepted the post of honorary architect for the Saiwan property.
During the past year cooperation with the Girl Guides has shown a distinct tendency to increase, and needless to say in Mrs. Southorn we find every assistance to that end, ably supported as she is by her H.Q. Staff. This cooperation is keenly desired by the Chief Scout and the Chief Guide and we are doing our best to follow their wishes.
As regards Scouting outside the Colony we were able to welcome parties of Japanese and Siamese Scouts passing through. Unfortunately, in China, Scouting still has a strong political bias which prevents fraternisation, but recently a party of Cantonese scouts went to Japan to study Scout Training, and we sincerely hope that they will come back imbued with the right spirit of scouting so that we can join hands with our scouting neighbours.
As regards Badge work, unfortunately our Badge Secretary, Mr. Y.Fenton, had to go to England for medical reasons, but Scoutmaster Ip Choi Hing has able carried on that part of the work in addition to his ordinary duties at Headquarters.
The Scout Shop flourishes in a small way, but is gradually extending its scope, and it is unusual to visit Headquarters without finding someone buying something.
Our quarterly local periodical, the "Silver Wolf" has received special attention in discussion of the Executive Committee. Its value and importance, both as a record of local Scout doings and as propaganda, has been proved many times over, and requests for copies have been received from many distant parts of the globe.
The report concludes with a reference to the enthusiasm displayed by members of the Sea Branch of the Rover Scout Section in vessels of H.M. Navy and the Mercantile Marine.
On the proposition of Mr. A.S.Mitchell, seconded by Mr. T.H.King, the report was adopted.
The statement of accounts was presented by Mr. T.N.Chau. The statement was adopted on the proposition of the chairman, seconded by the Hon. Sir Shouson Chow.
Arising out of the accounts, Mr. Wong Kwong-tin asked a question referring to the Working Account, asking if a Treasury Grant of $1,012 was from the Government. The chairman replied it was a grant made to the Association by the Government on the basis of $2 per head.
The Rev. G.T.Waldegrave then delivered an address. He said:
You have been good enough to adopt our report and to pass our accounts for which I sincerely thank you. By this you have signified your approval of the progress of the scout movement in this Colony and have thereby given the executive officers real encouragement. In past years it has been my misfortune to have to explain why our long hoped for training camp had not materialised, but now I can hold up my head with a certain amount of confidence.
The importance of such a branch of our activities may be shown by the fact that the training schedule has had of late a further addition in the shape of a scheme for training in districts by District Officers as a preliminary to the more advanced course such as those which will be held at Saiwan.
You will, I hope, bear with me while I briefly recapitulate the system of training adopted. It consists of three parts, part one being a sort of correspondence course exam, part two, a period of intensive training by means of which practical demonstrations and lectures for a period of 12 consecutive days or the equivalent in weekends, and part three a six months' period of probation during which the effect of the practical training on the scoutmaster and his troop is observed. Anyone passing all three is given the Wood Badge and becomes automatically a scout of the 1st. Gilwell Park Troop which has members all the world over.
Saiwan is for the holding of part two, and I can assure you that if we approach anywhere near the standard required by Gilwell we shall be doing well. The value of the practical course lies in the fact that by the methods adopted old age recovers its youth and learns again to see through the eyes of boyhood, an essential quality in those who aim at the successful training of the young.
But at Gilwell there is also another very wonderful feature, the weekend camping ground for London scouts. Each weekend in the warmer weather boys descend on the park in their hundreds to spend the weekend under canvas. Saturday evening finds Gilwell teaming with scouts who cement their brotherhood round the campfire at singsongs at night and the "Scouts' Own" religious services on Sundays. That is the sort of thing we want to develop here. Just as the London boys get a breath of real fresh air away from the crowded streets and smokey alleys, so we hope that Hongkong boys will be able regularly, with the minimum of trouble and expense, to get away each weekend from the hot, stuffy streets and flats, and thus find health for mind and body. Tents will be stored there and other commodities, and though camping as now will go on all over the Colony, for those who cannot afford time or money for a long period under canvas, Saiwan will always be available.
The acquisition of Saiwan has, however, another effect on this Association. Previously I, for one, was strongly of the opinion that it would be a pity to split up the Colony into separate District Associations, but with Saiwan as the connecting link we can take a step from which I have hitherto shrunk, and in order to further our policy of decentralisation so as to free the Colony's scout Headquarter Staff from much petty detail work for special attention to the bigger parts of scouting, the executive committee (with the scheme of the district training also in view) have decided to recommend to the council the formation of two districts in the Colony, Hongkong as the Southern District and Kowloon as the Northern District. This will take place as soon as the necessary officers can be found. The present council and executive committee will remain as before but will be the chief link constitutionally between the District Associations, and it is suggested that in order to avoid overlapping in the way of raising finance, the Colony Council should keep this under its wing, making grants to such districts as required. There will be no need for headquarters in Kowloon, and the sole expenses in the ordinary course will be the district secretary's for stationery, postage and so forth, while there will be Iess expense for the scoutmasters and scouts in having to cross the harbour for examinations, scoutmasters' meetings and similar functions, while each district will be represented on the council. Our present headquarters and shop will remain the scout business centre for the Colony.
With such benefits arising from the acquisition of Saiwan, and with such advances possible, we have no hesitation in making a strong appeal for funds for Saiwan. I may say I hope that all bona fide scouts, Chinese, Japanese and foreign will be able to benefit from Saiwan and also I should like to point out that there is, in scouting, no class, racial or religious discrimination.
We aim at $50,000 in order to equip the place thoroughly and to endow it, and at least $20,000 is needed as soon as possible to pay off the mortgage and to deal with immediate necessities. We have already had a generous gift of $1,000 and another of £10 sterling from Japanese scouts passing through, and only this afternoon a gift of $10 from a parent whose son at Home in England is nobly practising his scout ideals under very difficult circumstances.
But I am really charged now with the pleasant task of proposing the following names for respective offices:
President: Dr. R.H.Kotewall, LL.D. Vice President: Mr. E.Cock, M.B.E., Members of Council:- Lt. Col. L.G.Bird, D.S.O., Mr. G.W.C.Burnett, Mr. B.Wylie, Messrs. C.Champkin, T.N.Chau, C.G.H.Christian, R.M.Dyer, A.S.Mitchell, Ng Sze-kwong, E.Ralphs, W.H.Smith, P.Talati, Wong Kwong-tin, Hon. W.E.L.Shenton, A.Owen Hughes, A. el Arculli, C.E.H.Beavis, Hon. J.P.Braga, da Roza, Kwok Siu-lau, Dr. Chau, Sir Shou-son Chow, Sir H.E.Pollock, Sir H.C.Gollan, K.C., Commodore R.A.S.Hill, R.N., Mr. W.W.Hornell, Sir J.Kemp, K.C., Mr. T.H.King, Lt. Col. T.A.Robertson, Hon. Mr. and Mrs. W.T.Southorn, Hon. Dr. S.W.Tso, Bishop Valtorta, Bishop of Victoria, Rev. G.T.Waldegrave, Mr. Justice J.R.Wood, and representatives of the Tung Wah Hospital, South China Athletic Association and the Chinese A.A.
Chief Scout of Hongkong: H.E. the Governor, Commissioner and Deputy Camp Chief: Rev. G.T.Waldegrave. Assistant Commissioners: Messrs. C.Champkin and C.G.Christian, District Cubmaster: Mr. W.H.Smith, Hon. Treasurers: Messrs. T.N.Chau and D.Black, Hon. Sec.: Mr. A.S.Mitchell, Asst. and Badge Sec.: Mr. Ip Choi-hing.
The election of these nominees concluded the business of the meeting.