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Hongkong Daily Press.

Hongkong, Monday, October 28, 1940.

No. 25632

Page 5



   His Excellency, the Acting Governor, Lt. General E.F.Norton, C.B., D.S.O., M.C., Acting Chief Scout of Hongkong, paid a visit to the Scouters' Training Camp at Chai Wan yesterday afternoon.
   There was a smart turnout of about 70 scouters who had pitched their tents during last week.

   Prior to the official visit a combined service was held for the Protestant and Roman Catholic scouters, which was conducted by Bishop Hall and Bishop Valtorta.
   His Excellency, who arrived by motorboat, was rowed to shore by the Rover Sea Scouts and was welcomed by the Scout Commissioner, the Rev. N.V.Halward, M.C., M.A.
   Following inspection of the guard of honour, His Excellency proceeded to visit the camp sites.
   Among those present with His Excellency were members of the Council and several who are interested in the local scout movements. They were Hon. Mr. M.K.Lo, Hon. Mr. W.N.Thomas Tam, Lt. Col. H.B.Holt, O.B.E., M.C., Lt. Col. H.B.L.Dowbiggin, O.B.E., Wing Comdr. A.H.S.Steele Perkins, O.B.E., Director of A.R.P., Major C.Champkin, Deputy Commissioner of Scouts, Mr. G.A.Pentreath, Lt. Col. H.L.Murrow, D.S.O., Mr. A.J.Lane, Br. Casin, Mr. G.A.Goodban, Headmaster of Diocesan Boys' School, and Mr. C.G.Sollis, Director of Education and others.


   Following the visit, His Excellency addressed the scouters and said:-
   Owing to my having been much abroad I have had but little connexion with the Boy Scout movement in England, though I used to meet the Chief Scout, and no one has a greater admiration for him and his life's work than I have.
   In India, however, I saw a good deal of the Boy Scouts and glad to be able to tell you that the movement is in a very flourishing condition.
   One of the finest voluntary efforts I ever heard of was carried out by Boy Scouts in India. It was after the famous Quetta earthquake of 1935 when at least 20,000 people lost their lives and were buried in the ruined houses of that city in one minute.
   This catastrophe was followed, as you can imagine, with such dislocation of the whole life of the place as not even the intensive bombing of modern warfare
can produce.


   After some days of re-organisation the work of salvaging of property and of bodies began and continued not for weeks only, but for months and even years.
   A party of Scouts, or it may have been Rovers, from the Punjab, hundreds of miles away and having no connexion with Quetta, volunteered to help in any way possible, and on their arrival they worked for weeks at the distressing and often revolting task of digging out and disposing of great numbers of disintegrated corpses in the height of the weather.
   Those of you who appreciate that among Indians caste prejudices normally forbid their touching corpses will appreciate the extraordinary public spirit of this remarkable bit of work which created widespread admiration at the time.


   Here was an outstanding example of work carried out entirely for the good of the community by the Boy Scout organisation acting in their capacity as good citizens.
   In the event of war reaching Hongkong, work of even greater importance and even greater difficulty may be available for the Hongkong Boy Scouts Association. I want you to keep this aspect of your work in mind.
   If and when the emergency occurs don't miss the chance of a lifetime of proving the civic and public spirited value of your organisation. We shall certainly need you.


   There is another and quite different aspect of your work. Wherever I go in this Colony I see great numbers of Chinese swimming in the sea and walking for long picnics on the hills. I am assured that ten years ago such activities were almost non existent among the Chinese population.
   It is hardly necessary to point out what an excellent effect such activities must have on the health, happiness and development of the people. I have heard it said that it is the lead that was given by the Boy Scouts which was partly responsible for this very curious new movement.

   Whether this is so or not, I want you to remember that many of your lads live in crowded tenements and city streets and are largely unfamiliar with the joys of the country.


   Both for their own sakes and as promoters of a wider movement throughout the population, you can do no better work than to organise and stimulate parties into the country and into camp, where a little roughing and a lot of fresh air will do wonders to make more valuable citizens of your boys.
   I realise very fully what the work carried out by you Scouters and Scout Masters consists of, and how much of your scanty spare time and holidays you must devote to this most admirable work, and how much effort is required from you to produce the results that have been achieved.
   I greatly admire your public spirited keenness, and I can assure you that it is expended in a really worthy cause.
   You are associated with one of the greatest educational movements of all time and one which would be impossible were it not for the unselfish help of people like yourselves all the world over.


   The following scouters were presented with Warrants:-
   Fu Sai-sze, Br. F.Brimshaw, Wong Fu-chun, Chiu Kam-nam, Chan Gin-fu, Sin Ka-wing and Henry Ma.

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