The Hongkong Telegraph.
Thursday, January 15, 1931.
Page 2 & 11
THE BOY SCOUT MOVEMENT.
GOVERNOR'S TRIBUTE AT ANNUAL MEETING.
His Excellency, Sir William Peel, the local Chief Scout, occupied the chair at the annual meeting of the Hongkong Boy Scouts' Association, which was held in the Cathedral Hall, yesterday afternoon.
His Excellency was supported by the Rev. G.T.Waldegrave (Commissioner), Messrs. C.Champkin and C.G.H.Christian (Assistant Commissioners), the Hon. Mr. R.H.Kotewall (President of the Association), the Hon. Mr. W.E.L.Shenton, Mr. T.N.Chau, Mr. D.Black and Mr. Mitchell.
Mr. Waldegrave prefaced comments on the annual report, which has already been published in these columns with a welcome to His Excellency as Chief Scout.
He said:- As it is my privilege to be the first speaker it is my very pleasant duty to say how warmly we welcome Your Excellency here today. The first information that I received at Imperial Headquarters in London when I arrived home on leave was that you, Sir, had kindly consented to be our local Chief Scout. Naturally I felt assured that we should have the same keen and sympathetic support that we have received in the past from Sir Reginald Stubbs and Sir Cecil Clementi. We hope that shortly you will be able to inspect the Scouts themselves and present the Prince of Wales Banner to the winning Troop the 20th Hongkong, which for the current year is thus entitled to the name "The Governor's Troop."
We much regret that owing to illness Mr. Halward our Assistant Commissioner for Training cannot be with us today, but we are glad that he is on the road to recovery. In thanking Mr. Champkin and all those friends who have done such valuable work during the past year, I should like to mention Mr. W.H.Smith who audited the accounts after this Report was written. We are sincerely grateful to him. As regards the actual number of Scouts of all three branches receiving training our total numbers at the end of September showed an increase of 38. Since then, however, numbers have gone up again and I estimate that at present there are at least 600 boys actively engaged in Scouting.
The President and Treasurer will deal with the Financial side of the movement, but I should like to say that yesterday I received a note from the Cubmaster of the Peak Pack that the Wolf Cubs of that Pack had enthusiastically agreed to a proposal that the sum of $50 should be voted from their Pack Funds towards Saiwan. That is the sort of news we like to hear, and we sincerely hope that this fine lead given by the youngest members of the Association will be widely and generously followed.
The report was adopted on the proposition of Mr. Waldegrave, seconded by the Hon. Mr. Shenton, after which Mr. T.N.Chau presented the statement of accounts, when he said that he would like to see the Saiwan mortgage for $16,000 redeemed at an early date.
He proposed the adoption of the accounts, this being seconded by Mr. J.R.Wood and carried.
Mr. Waldegrave proposed, and the Hon. Mr. Shenton seconded, a new draft of regulations for internal management, this being approved by the meeting.
The following were added to the Council: Commodore A.H.Walker, P.N., Commander J.B.Newill, R.N. (Sea Scout Committee), Mr. G.P. de Martir (Director of Education), Mr. M.K.Lo and Mr. Tang Shiu-kin. Scoutmasters W.Gittins and K.H.Yip were elected to represent Hongkong, and Dr. K.H.Uttley and Mr. S.A.Sweet were elected to represent Kowloon.
The Hon. Mr. Kotewall said:- In the name of the Boy Scouts' Association I respectfully extend to you, Sir, a most hearty and warm welcome on this, your first appearance, as our Chief Scout, and, on behalf of the members of the Association Council, I pledge to you, Sir, our loyal and wholehearted support.
Continuing, he said:-
All of you must read with satisfaction the Commissioner's report on the work of the Association for the past year. It shows substantial progress in many directions, for which we are largely indebted to our energetic and hardworking Commissioner, whom we are pleased to welcome back from a well earned holiday. So devoted is Mr. Waldegrave to the interests of the Association that when he was at Home on leave and should have been enjoying a much needed rest, he attended two important Scout conferences in England, and also had several discussions with Imperial Headquarters on weighty matters connected with this Association.
Thanks to Workers.
It would be invidious and indeed difficult to single out any individuals for special mention, when all have had a share in contributing to the result achieved, but I cannot forbear bringing to your notice meritorious services rendered to the Association by Mr. C.Champkin who during the eight months of Mr. Waldegrave’s absence, carried on his responsible and arduous duties with marked success. He was ably supported by Mr. C.G.Christian and by that splendid band of Scoutmasters who undoubtedly form the bulwark of the Movement.
To the Hon. Mr. W.E.L.Shenton I desire to express sincere thanks for the trouble he has taken in checking and putting into shape the Regulations which have just been approved by you; and to Mr. A.J.Lane for all his help in connexion with the Saiwan Camp. Most heartily and sincerely do I associate myself with the Commissioner in his expression of thanks to the other workers who have rendered special and helpful service to the Association, and in his expression of gratification at the conferment of "The Silver Wolf" decoration on Mr. C.H.Blason who, until the beginning of last year, was our Honorary Treasurer and was one of the mainstays of our organisation for a number of years.
We will soon lose the valued service of Mr. A.S.Mitchell, our Honorary Secretary, as he is going Home on long furlough, Mr. Mitchell has discharged his duties with zeal and ability, and we are sorry to let him go. We wish him a pleasant holiday, and hope that his services will again be available to us in the same or some other capacity on his return to the Colony.
Appeal for Money.
As the Commissioner has dealt fully with the work of the Association for the past year, I shall not take up your time by traversing the ground once more. I shall, instead, make an appeal to you and, through you, to the general public for support in several important matters.
First of all, I appeal to you for financial help. As the Commissioner has pointed out in his report, the Association is burdened with a debt of $16,000, the result of the purchase of the site at Saiwan for our Training Camp, which has proved to be such a desirable acquisition. You will be glad to hear that our able Honorary Treasurer, Mr. T.N.Chau, and our good friend, Mr. Tang Shui-kin, have kindly undertaken to raise at least $6,000, thus leaving only $10,000 to be contributed or raised by other members of the Association. The sum wanted is not so very enormous, and I am confident that in view of the many distinct advantages which the Camp affords, the public will readily help us to clear off this debt in spite of the vanishing value of the dollar.
Appeal for Members.
My next appeal is for more members. Apart from the consideration of a larger revenue which a larger membership would bring to the Association, we want more members, more helpers. It is our conviction that the more members we have, the more widely would our aims be known and our influence disseminated, and thus would the good work be helped on. To those who sympathise with our endeavours I extend a cordial invitation to join us.
Appeal for Leaders.
Now comes my third appeal which is directed to those young men who have had experience of discipline and leadership but who still remain outside the Boy Scouts Movement. I ask them to join us as Scoutmasters, Rover Leaders or Cubmasters, according to their personal preference. From year to year ever since the introduction of the Movement into the Colony, the one cry has been for officers and more officers. There has been no lack of boys desirous of becoming Scouts, but there has always been an insufficiency of Scouters to train and lead them. It cannot be that there are not enough young men with the requisite qualifications in the Colony; rather it is that many qualified men are not aware of our need. I trust that this appeal will catch their eye and will induce them, from a sense of civic duty, to come forward and help us in this work. I assure them that though their duties will demand sacrifice of time and leisure and will at times be onerous, they will themselves be gainers not less than those whom they will try to help.
Appeal to Parents.
Finally, I appeal to parents to let their sons join the Association as Scouts, Rovers or Wolf Cubs, and their daughters as Girl Guides. In the past we have rightly aimed at quality rather than quantity, but now that real progress has been made in every direction, and that we have a proper training ground and camp, the Commissioner is of the opinion that we can safely take on more recruits, provided we have a sufficient number of officers to train and lead them. We are in hopes that our appeal for such officers will meet with success.
If parents believe in our aims and methods, let them allow their boys and girls to join us. That our organisation has the approval and support of our leading residents can be seen from the list of members of the Association Council, which includes, besides His Excellency the Governor, the names of the Right Reverend the Bishop of Victoria, the Right Rev. Bishop Valtorta, the Commodore, His Honour the Chief Justice, the Hon. Mr. W.T.Southorn, Sir Joseph Kemp, Sir Henry Pollock, Sir Shouson Chow, the Hon. Mr. W.E.L.Shenton, Sir William Hornell, the Hon. Mr. J.Owen Hughes, and many others prominent in their respective walks of life.
Value of Scouting.
It is scarcely necessary for me to repeat that Boy Scouting is non military, non political and non sectarian, and is without distinction of class or race. It is a system which helps the young to develop self reliance and resourcefulness, steadfastness and pluck, and a sense of honour and loyalty, service and fair play. It also teaches them skill in handiwork and ministers to their physical well being. It is just the thing needed by the youth of the present day. Very aptly is the Movement called "The Boys' League of Nations," for it is an organisation having for its chief object Fellowship and Service. It has grown so rapidly that today there are nearly 700,000 Boy Scouts in the British Empire alone, and over 2,000,000 in the world. It has spread to forty two countries besides Great Britain and the British Dominions, and is helping to establish Brotherhood throughout the World.
Ladies and gentlemen, permit me to conclude by proposing a hearty vote of thanks to His Excellency the Governor for sparing the time to come and preside at this meeting. The deep and practical interest which His Excellency has evinced in all matters concerning the welfare of the community, and the ability with which he has grappled with the many intricate problems that have arisen since his arrival, have strengthened our confidence that in him the Boy Scouts Association has not only a sympathetic friend but also a wise guide.
A Fine Movement.
His Excellency said:- I should like to thank Doctor Kotewall for proposing this vote of thanks and to thank you all for your warm endorsement of it. When, soon after my appointment was announced as Governor of this Colony, I was asked if I would become Chief Scout and I accepted with the greatest pleasure. I feels however, that during the time I have been here, I have done very little in that capacity. In fact, I seem to have confined my duties merely to signing a few warrants. I do not want it to be thought that I am at all lacking in sympathy or enthusiasm for the movement. I have always thought it is one of the finest movements in modern years. In reading some literature I saw, when I visited Headquarters in London, before I came out here, I was struck by those very figures that Dr. Kotewall has just quoted, giving the number of British scouts as 700,000 and others as 2,000,000 recognised by the International Committee. Any movement that, in 22 years, can show these figures must obviously be a fine movement.
Hongkong has done its share and achieved considerable success. They have the right man in the right place as Commissioner. Although I have not known Mr. Waldegrave for very long, as he has been on leave, I feel sure you could not get a man more suited for this post. - (Applause).
Rather More Wanted.
It is obvious from the report that rather more is wanted. On the one hand, there seems to be a dearth of scoutmasters and I endorse Dr. Kotewall's appeal very strongly for people to come forward and become officers.
The other need is evidently a need for funds to wipe off, at any rate, a large portion of this mortgage. I was somewhat surprised to read in the report it is often stated that there is nothing to do in Hongkong. I have been greatly impressed by the activities here. There is more to do here than in other places I have had to deal with. It contains a great deal of generosity as evidenced by the assistance given in other directions monetarily, and I am sure that people will come forward to assist in this very fine movement of the Boy Scouts.
As the local Chief Scout, I should like to convey my thanks to the various people who have helped so much in connexion with this Association and to thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for coming here this afternoon to show your sympathy with the movement. - (Applause).
The meeting then terminated.