Hongkong Daily Press.
Hongkong, Wednesday, December 30, 1931.
SCOUTING IN HONG KONG.
ADDRESS BY COMMISSIONER AT ROTARY CLUB.
MORE HELPERS WANTED.
Speaking at the Rotary Club yesterday, the Rev. G.T.Waldegrave, Commissioner of the Boy Scouts' Association in Hong Kong, gave an insight into the work done by Scouts in this part of the world and made a strong appeal for more helpers to assist in the executive side of the work.
The Hon. Dr. S.W.Tso presided at the meeting and prior to calling upon Mr. Waldegrave to address the meeting, said:- The first thing I have to say today is to report to you that I went to Blake Gardens last Wednesday to present the shield to the winning team of the School Basketball League Final. The game was keenly contested and the spectators there were most enthusiastic and numbered about 1,000.
The space of the ground laid out in the garden by our Club is Iarge enough for two courts so that two games may be played there at the same time. The playground is well laid out but the garden itself is more like a refuse dump and the entrances to the garden are in a very bad condition. It is extraordinary that a public gardens should be allowed to get into such a dilapidated condition. I think the Government may be requested to spend a little money there and make the place look more respectable.
Before handing over the Shield, I told the audience that through the efforts of the members of our Club. Blake Gardens had been converted into a playground and that thanks were due to the Y.M.C.A., and particularly to Rotarian McPherson, for taking charge of the ground and making arrangements for games to be played there.
I hope members of our Club will find time to pay a visit there and see the place for themselves. There is plenty of room for improvements and for more playing grounds, and this is an opportunity for our members to make further efforts in that direction.
The Wolf Cubs.
Mr. Waldegrave, in the course of his address, said that the Wolf Cubs were the junior section of the Scouts. When the Scout movement was started in Hong Kong, it was found that quite a number of small boys wanted to join their elder brothers and it was possible to start the Cubs, whose ages ranged from 8 to 12. The Scout age was 11 to 18 and Rover Scouts were open to all persons over 18 years of age. There was no age limit for Rovers.
The Wolf Cubs enjoyed the most charming part of scouting as it afforded much opportunity for the youngsters to exercise their powers of imagination. The Scout had ample scope for developing a practical knowledge of things and was always full of activity. He was generally given such work as exploration and camping to fit him for the fuller expression of himself when he became a Rover. The Rover Scouts motto was "Service" and they were supposed to put their Scout training to actual practice as citizens.
The object of the Scout movement was not only to give a Scout a good time but to train and develop him to think in the group spirit and to become a good citizen in whatever walk of life he might adopt when he grew up. The scouts had their own judicial boards and the Scoutmasters only act in the role of advisors to such bodies.
Sea Scouts and Rover Sea Scouts, explained Mr. Waldegrave, were just like ordinary Scouts, but instead of specializing in woodcraft, they specialised in sea craft and wore appropriate uniforms.
Deep Sea Scouts.
Mr. Waldegrave explained that Deep Sea Scouts were old Scouts who went to sea either in the Mercantile Marine or in the Royal Navy. Such Scouts naturally wished to come in contact with the Scout movement at whatever port, they happened to be at the time, but when they went to see the Scoutmasters, the latter naturally showed a certain amount of caution before admitting them. The Scouts could obtain a certain form of travelling passport but that was not enough for seamen who were travelling from port to port and so the Deep Sea Scout was formed in order to link these old scouts with headquarters.
In H.M. ships, there were a great number of men who have joined this movement. In the China Fleet there were at least 45 Deep Sea Scouts and in Hong Kong their "dea" was in the Seamen's Institute and they had their own camp site within the Saiwan Boy Scouts Camp. The Deep Sea Scouts were not people who wanted help and their position could be explained by words used on one occasion at the local camp by a Deep Sea Scout who said: "We don't want help; we are anxious to help."
Question of Officers.
Regarding the matter of officers, Mr. Waldegrave explained that in the old days, they found that certain schools, for instance, would form a troop with their own officers and apply to be registered. Today the question of officers was not so easily got over, because the Association were in a position to insist that no scouter should be given a warrant unless he has been attending a course of lectures and practical training to prove his suitability for the job. Mr. Halward had started a school and anyone who was interested in scout work would be welcome.
Referring to the spirit of friendliness in the Scout camps, Mr. Waldegrave said that there was no race distiaction there and plenty of practical work was done.
The speaker referred to the administrative side of the work and said that the question of getting a good secretary was a difficult one. As soon as a good man was available, he would be transferred by his hong to somewhere else before he could settle down to work. He said that the need of the Association at the moment was a good secretary.
Referring to Chinese Scouts, Mr. Waldegrave gave instances of where these had made headway in their own country due in no small measure to the training they had from the Scout movement in Hong Kong. He referred also to the work done here by some of the Scouts. One was recently commended for excellent work at a fire, while some years ago two scouts carried an injured man who had been shot, to the nearest police station at about 10.20 at night.
His Excellency Thanked.
Mr. Waldegrave concluded by expressing his thanks to His Excellency the Chief Scout and to the Council of the Association for their advice and cooperation at all times.
The Hon. Mr. R.H.Kotewall, in thanking Mr. Waldegrave for his address, echoed the hope that someone would be found to take on the secretarial work. He hoped that some Rotarian would fill the post.