Hongkong Daily Press.
Hongkong, Wednesday, February 8, 1933.
Page 7 & 11
SCOUTING IN HONG KONG
H.E.'S APPEAL FOR MORE LEADERS
HON. DR. KOTOWALL REVIEWS A SATISFACTORY YEAR
"It is gratifying that the Boy Scouts' movement in the Colony has shown another year of steady progress, and that the material is considered to be good by the Commissioner who, I considered, sets a high standard of efficiency," said the Hon. Dr. R.H.Kotewall, the President, at the annual meeting of the Hong Kong Boy Scouts' Association which was held at Sandilands' Hut yesterday.
His Excellency the Governor, Sir William Peel, Chief Scout, was in the chair, and in short review of the activities of the Association, congratulated it on its success, and appealed for more leaders for the troops.
EXCELLENT INCREASE IN NUMBERS
SIR WILLIAM PEEL
Sir William Peel said: "Before asking the Commissioner to present his annual report I should like to refer to one or two points. In the first place I congratulate him and the Hong Kong branch of the Boy Scouts' Association on the very excellent increase in members in the past year amounting to about 11 per cent. There has been reduction in the Wolf Cubs for the period ending September 30, 1932, but I am glad to see that the number has been fully made up in the short period which has since elapsed. There is still, however, some shortage to which I had referred I think, of the last time I presided over the annual meeting, in regard to the number of suitable leaders available. It must be a great handicap to the Troops, and I appeal to members and non members to come forward to help in that respect.
"You will see in the report that the training course for officers has been formed which has proved to be of great benefit, and I hope it will result in these new troops that are being started obtaining some degree of success as the old ones.
"You will see also, in spite of that, that in any event it is difficult for officers to take part in all rallies held or had been proposed during the year. This leads to the conclusion that the number of people who are most prominent in various activities in Hong Kong are not as many as we would wish, and I therefore appeal very strongly for new blood to come in and help them.
"Members of the Toc H. who passed through here recently explained that one of the conditions for joining Toc H. was that members should definitely promise to do some form of service, and I take this opportunity of appealing to anyone proposing to join the Toc H. to consider whether the particular form of service may not lie in helping the Boy Scouts." (Applause.)
Continuing, His Excellency commented on the success attained locally in camping, and said that he had been impressed by the increase in this branch of scout activity during his recent visit home. He was astonished at the enormous camping grounds in England.
Work at Saiwan Camp, His Excellency said, was progressing slowly, but a sum of $500 was still due on the mortgage, and the Commissioner needed another $5,000 to enable him to bring that camp to a degree of efficiency. He therefore made an appeal for money or in kind for the very useful purpose.
The Sea Scouts had a successful year and His Excellency congratulated them. He saw in this a very good branch of the Association and provided good training for boys who wished in later years to pick up a seafaring life.
In conclusion, His Excellency thanked Dr. Kotewall for having been president for so many years in spite of the many calls on his time. (Applause.) He also liked to mention the name of the Hon. Mr. T.N.Chau who had been a most excellent treasurer and who had been able to obtain much more money than most other people through his own activities and of his friends. Finally, he thought they would all agree with him that the success of the branch was - undoubtedly - through the tact and energy of its Commissioner, Rev. Waldegrave. (Applause.)
Speaking of himself His Excellency said that although he had the honour of being Chief Scout he felt that his post had been rather sinecure. This however did not lessened his intense interest in the movement in any way. He therefore took this opportunity to appeal very strongly for more help to make the Hong Kong branch a success. (Applause.)
In presenting his report (which has already been published), the Commissioner thanked Mrs. Southorn, the Commissioner of Girl Guides, for the use of Sandilands' Hut for the meeting.
He mentioned that Mr. E.Cock had promised to take over the office of President on the expiry of Dr. Kotewall's tenure of office at the end of the present year.
He also referred with regret the loss of the services of Lieutenant C.G.H.Christian and Messrs. C.Campkin and S.A.Sweet, all assistant commissioners.
The report was seconded by Mr. M.K.Lo and adopted.
In presenting his report, the Hon. Treasurer pointed to the meagre figure of $360 represented by subscriptions for the year. Having regard to the population of Hong Kong, he said, one would expect that amount would be a much larger one. While admitting that times were not prosperous, he refused to believe that $360 was all that the Colony would give to this worthy cause like the Boy Scouts' movement, and he took this opportunity of again appealing most strongly to the public for their kind support.
HON. DR. KOTEWALL
Dr. Kotowall said:-
Permit me first of all to thank His Excellency, the Chief Scout for his kind reference to me.
This is the seventh time I am addressing you as President of the Hong Kong Boy Scouts Association, and I thank you for the great honour you have done me by reelecting me to the office for yet another year. In looking back over my connection with the Association, I recall how Sir Cecil Clementi first wrote and urged me to take up the position, and how I finally, with some reluctance, yielded to the wishes of himself and of the Rev. G.T.Waldegrave; for although I had myself the interests of the Boy Scouts movement very much at Heart, I felt that the many calls upon my time would not permit me to devote as much energy to the Association as its President should devote. During all these years I have felt that my time has been taken up so largely with other public interests that I have not been able to serve the Association to the extent that I could wish. About a months ago I informed the Commissioner and the Executive Committee that I did not desire to stand again as President, but on the express wish of Mr. Waldegrave, of the Vice President Mr. Cock, and of the Executive Committee, I consented to serve, if re-elected, for one more year on the understanding that it would have to be the last, I assure you that in desiring to be relieved of this office, I do so not because of any abatement of interest in the Association on my part, but because I feel that new blood should be enlisted for such a responsible position, the holder of which should be able to devote much more time to the Association than I have been able to do.
We have all heard with great pleasure the Commissioner's report for the past year. It is gratifying that the Boy Scouts movement in the Colony has shown another year of steady progress, had that the material is considered to be good by the Commissioner who, I know, sets a high standards for efficiency.
The Problem of Officers.
The number of Scouts, which has risen by 56, could have been even larger but for the shortage of officers. I can quite understand why in the past, men well fitted for these responsible positions have abstained from offering their services. The duties are rather arduous, and those who are prepared to undertake them must read up a great deal undergo much severe training, and most of all, give up the time necessary for the purpose. This means self denial and, to a large extent, tying oneself down to fixed times with the boys. The Commissioner expects, and rightly so, that once a man consents to become a Scout officer he should allow nothing to interfere with his time table except illness or business of an important and unavoidable nature. Mr. Waldegrave is of the opinion, in which I thoroughly concur, that it is not fair to the boys or to the movement for officers to be irregular in the performance of their duties; for the boys, while easily infected with enthusiasm and ready to learn under one whom they recognise as competent and keen, would just as easily detect slackness in an officer, and be liable to become slack themselves when not properly directed. But exacting as our requirements are, I hope that there will be sufficient public spirited men who will come forward to help us for the sake of the younger generations. Scouting, no doubt, demands much, but it gives more, and it is well worth our while to make some sacrifice for it. I therefore appeal to those who are eligible to make the sacrifice.
One of the pleasing features of the Commissioner's Report is the excellent relationship still being maintained between our Association and old members of the Troops in various parts of China. It is a testimony to the value and potential scope of our movement as well as to the beneficial lessons inculcated by the Commissioner and his officers. Another pleasing feature to which I wish to make special reference is the happy cooperation between our sister organisation the Girl Guides, and ourselves along the most harmonious lines. We appreciate to the full the many acts of kindness they have shown us, as typified by the loan to us of the use of Sandilands Hut for this very meeting. This happy cooperation is largely due to the cooperation of the Commissioner of Girl Guides, Mrs. Southorn, whose presence gives us so much pleasure. (Applause.)
Tribute to Helpers and Officers.
I desire to associate myself with the tribute paid by the Commissioner to Mr. A.S.Mitchell, our hard working Honorary Secretary. We regret his departure, and wish him every success in his new sphere of usefulness. There will also be general regret at the resignation of Mr. C.Champkin, one of the Assistant Commissioners. Mr. Champkin has rendered yeoman service to the Association in the various posts which he has for many years held in the Association, including that of Acting Commissioner.
In a note to me Mr. Waldegrave says that, in so far as he knows, he will be away in the Spring of 1934 for good. I sincerely hope that circumstances may so change as to keep him in the Colony for some years to come, so that the Association may continue to have the benefit of his unrivalled experience and able guidance. While Mr. Waldegrave continues to carry the Boy Scouts Association on his broad shoulders, we can rest assured that things will get along all right.
Then there is my honourable friend Mr. T.N.Chau whose services as Honorary Treasurer and member of our Executive Committee have been invaluable. And there is also Mr. Tang Shiu Kin who has earned the title of "Hong Kong's Champion Beggar" - a title once given to a more exalted personage for work on behalf of the London Hospital. Mr. Tang Shiu Kin has probably gathered more subscriptions for charity and other worthy objects than any other person in the Colony in recent years. May his persuasive powers never diminish!
We welcome His Excellency the Governor on our New Council. His consent to serve is evidence of his kindly interest in us.
A word, too, must be said in recognition of the excellent services rendered by the Rev. N.V.Halward as an Assistant Commissioner, and by all Scout officers, without whose devoted service the advance made by the Association would not have been possible.
And now, lastly, I desire to express on behalf of the whose Association our deep appreciation of the practical interest which His Excellency the Chief Scout always takes in us, as exemplified by his attendance here today. His Excellency has modestly remarked that he feared he has allowed his office as Chief Scout to become rather a sinecure. We know, all of us, how busy His Excellency is, but he always finds time to give us all the help we need. (Applause.) We know how busy His Excellency is, but all of us, from the Commissioner down to the newest recruit, feel that we can at all times rely on the Chief for that help and guidance which he has so abundantly afforded us in the past.
ELECTION OF COUNCIL.
The election of members of the Council for the present year was then put forward, and the following were elected:- Mr. A. el Arculli, the Hon. Sir Shouson Chow, Sir W.W.Hornell, Mr. T.H.King, Mr. A.J.Lane, Mr. Li Jowson, Mr. M.K.Lo, Mr. C.M.Manners, Commander J.Newill, Bishop of Victoria, Mr. N.L.Smith, Commodore E. MacD. Lawrie, Mr. Mok Hon Sung, Major General O.C.Borrett, Lt. Col. T.A.Robertson, C.A. de Roza, Hon. Sir William Shenton, Mrs. W.T.Southorn, Mr. M.P.Talati, Mr. Tang Shiu Kin, Hon. Dr. S.W.Ts'o, Rt. Rev. Bishop Valtorta, Mr. Wong Kwong Tin, Mr. Justice Wood, Mr. B.Wylie and representatives of C.A.A., C.R.C., and Tung Wah Hospital Committee.