Hongkong Daily Press.
Hongkong, Friday, July 4, 1941.
Boy Scouts Association Annual Report
The annual report of the Boy Scouts Association (Hongkong Branch) just issued states in part:
Due to evacuation practically all our European Groups have ceased to function, but owing to the gradual development of the Associations' policy in fostering greater interest in Scouting amongst Chinese boys our numbers again show a slight increase.
The organisation of the A.R.P. Despatch Corps has entailed an enormous amount of purely voluntary work on the part of many Scouters and although the requisite numbers have not yet been enrolled I think it can safely be said that a very efficient nucleus has been trained and will be ready to play their part in an emergency.
The community as a whole owes a debt of gratitude to the numerous Scouters who give so freely of their time and energy in the training of boys to be useful citizens. Thanks is also due to all Association Officers for the able way in which the Movement is being directed and guided in these difficult days.
The outstanding feature regarding the census returns for the year under review is the fact that the large increase in numbers recorded last year has not only been maintained, but slightly exceeded. In spite of the evacuation of European families during the year and the many additional calls upon all remaining in the Colony due to the war.
Three Groups closed in Hongkong during the year.
Five Groups closed in Kowloon.
Few changes have taken place during the year among the executive ranks of the Association.
The Census figures taken at the end of September do not really indicate the growth of Cubbing during the year. We began with 8 packs and 4 new ones were formed during the year. In the eight original Packs there were no changes in Cubmasters during the year under review and our usual combined activities were held during the winter months.
The usual assistance has been given to the Street Sleepers' Shelter Society throughout the season and also to the Exhibition of Chinese Products.
For two years prior to the actual year under review, the question of how the Association could best assist with the ever increasing need for National Service had been receiving the attention of not only those responsible for the direction of this Branch, but also of the heads of many local Government Departments. Tentative enquiries as to what was possible had already been investigated and several requests for assistance in the case of certain eventualities had already been received and preparations made to comply if and when the need arose.
Finally, with the inauguration of Air Raid Precautions Department within the Colony, and at the request of the Director for Air Raid Precautions, the Association undertook the formation of a volunteer Boy Scout Despatch Corps trained in A.R.P. work in particular, and the Corps took its place in the Colony A.R.P. scheme right from the start. Nothing was compulsory, the consent of members' parents or guardians being required as soon as a member volunteered for the work.
Whatever the nature of the job to be done, members have always performed their tasks cheerfully and efficiently, as witness the several letters of appreciation on file from the various departments concerned. Training has to be kept going continually, for as soon as members become old enough, many of them join the H.K.V.D.C., the H.K.N.V.F., the regular corps of Air Raid Wardens, Auxiliary Fire Service and other civilian volunteer forces made necessary by present day conditions.
The year under review may best be described as abnormal, but in spite of this, the 1st Hongkong (Sea Scout) Group have completed another successful year's working. It is to be regretted that the Group Scoutmaster, Mr. F.C.Manning, has had to transfer his activities to another direction for the duration of the war, but fortunately he is not too far away not to be able to keep in touch.
The Sea Rover Crew has maintained its strength consistently throughout the year.
The Rover Scout section has made steady progress, the appointment of an Assistant Commissioner for Rover Scouts during the year having greatly assisted to this end. Numbers are slightly up, the total number of Rover Scouts at the end of the year being 111 and Rover Scout Leaders 11 compared with last year's figures of 105 and 7 respectively.
TESTS AND BADGES
Badge work has gone on steadily and the evacuation of our European members has not made a marked difference to the annual figures. There appears to have been much better cooperation between Examiners, Scouters and Scouts, for very few complaints have reached the secretary, or is it that Scouters have urged their boys to put the 5th Scout Law into practice, "A Scout is Courteous."
TRAINING OF SCOUTERS
Special efforts were made during the year with reference to the training of non English speaking Scouters and thanks are due to Mr. Chan Fook Hong and his staff of willing helpers. Mr. Chan himself ran a series of four training weekends in the New Territory during the first month of the year for the benefit of the New Territory (North) Scouters, while a longer course consisting of eight separate days and two weekend camps was ably directed by M.Chan in June and July, the whole of the series being either conducted in Cantonese or directly translated.
A general improvement In Group work has resulted, and also the formation of one or two new Groups.