CITY MAYOR NOW A BOY SCOUT
The Guardian, Friday, 21 November, 1941
Recites The ‘Promise’ At Annual Meeting
MAYOR OF LANCASTER Coun. J. B. Waddington, had a novel experience on Friday night, when he became a fully fledged Boy Scout, entitled to wear the Scout Badge and give the Scout salute.
He was officially enrolled by County Commissioner Ald. T. W. Helme, who administered the Scout Promise to the Mayor, and then enrolled him with the customary left handshake. The assembled Scouts shouted a hearty ” Bravo ” to welcome him into their midst.
This informal little ceremony took place at the conclusion of the annual meeting of the Lancaster and District Boy Scouts’ Association in the Town Hall, when the Mayor, who presided, was accompanied by County Commissioner, also District Commissioner J. Dodds Drummond; Dr. J. Tomb, Chiarman (sic) of the Association; Mr F. H. Capstick, hon. secretary; and Mr. J. G. Swainson, hon. treasurer. The Mayor thus becomes the 602nd member of the Association.
Addressing those present the Mayor said, “Your movement, based as it is on religion, truth, honour and service to all in need, is one that will and must go on. The early pioneers of the movement who have passed on would be very proud to know how widespread the movement has become to-day. They, like all of us, would be very grieved that German youths have not had the advantage of the Scout movement. How different would the outlook of the world be now if German young people had not been taught the horrible false ideas now taught in Germany. It is sad, but true, that this war has been caused by teaching a false outlook on life to the German young people. During this war I have been very pleased to see how the Scouts have readily done all kinds of work in regard to billeting, A.R.P. and all worthy charities. I believe that this City and you boys are fortunate in having such good leaders who work so well on your behalf under the guidance of County Ald. T. W. Helme. (Applause.)
Presenting the 32nd annual report, the hon. secretary said this year there were 240 Cubs, 298 Scouts. 20 Rovers, and 43 Scouters, a total of 601. If the numbers of individual Cubs and Scouts not yet registered were added, the total would constitute a new record for the Association.
That was very encouraging in view of the difficulties of war-time and the calling up for Service of so many Rovers and Scouters. It would seem that the formation of the Lancaster Youth Advisory Committee had stimulated Scouting and it would appear that, through the good offices of that Committee, the new 27th Troop had been formed and was now meeting in Ryelands School. Three new troops and two new Cub Packs had been established. The 27th Lancaster (Ryelands) under Mr. and Mrs. L. C. Parslow had quickly established a good troop and Cub Pack. A new Cub Pack had been formed at Silverdale, and Hornby and Caton now had Scout Troops. The Association welcomed this increase of Scouting in the villages in its area. Their new headquarters at Crosslands, kindly lent to them for the duration by Storey Bros., had been of immeasurable value to Scouting. The City Shield, which had been awarded on the basis of the number of Proficiency badges gained by Scout Troops had been won by the 4th Lancaster, with the 16th Lancaster close runners- up. The 4th Lancaster gained 38 King’s Scouts, 32 badges, 14 second-class badges, and 84 first¬-class tests; a total of 148. whilst the 16th Lancaster’s gained 32 King’s Scouts, 27 other badges, 17 second-class badges, and 64 first-class tests, a total of 145. The war continued to deprive them of the services of many of their best helpers and the latest to be called up was their genial and, efficient Badge Secretary Mr. J. W. Ellwood. They were indeed fortunate in that District Quartermaster G. Penny had kindly agreed to act as his Deputy. It had been a fine year of work and games. training and recreation. The Athletic Cup was won by the 25th Lancaster Scout Troop and the 21st Cub Pack.
DOING NATIONAL SERVICE.
The National Service report, presented by S. M. Sharpe, stated the keynote of the Scouts’ work on behalf of all branches of Civil Defence and in the collection of salvage had been keenness and efficiency. In addition to all these duties they had recently established a Squad to assist in the Searcher Service and Troops were doing yeoman service in Silverdale, Caton, Bolton-le-Sands, and Carnforth. The call upon their Scouters and Rovers had seriously depleted their ranks. From one Rover Crew no fewer than 21 members had joined H.M. Forces.
The Majority of these had linked up with Scout Troops in the vicinity of their new spheres of service. ” I feel confident that if the occasion arises in our area our Scouts can be relied upon to carry out any duty the Civil Defence authorities may require both promptly and efficiently,” added the report. ” The spirit of self-sacrifice shown by our Scouts now will be a stimulus for better things to come, when the Peace of the world is assured.
The financial statement, presented by Mr. J, G. Swainson, showed that the Association commenced with a balance at the beginning of the year of £97 19s. 3d and ended with a balance of £46 3s. 4d., but they must bear in mind that they had an investment that brought the balance up to £96 3s. 4d.
Presenting the report of the Crosslands Committee, Mr. J Dodds Drummond said the new Headquarters had been a “Mecca and the Clapham Junction of Scouting”. As illustrating the good work accomplished by the Scouts in Lancaster alone, he pointed out that on a single day they had distributed on behalf of the local authority no fewer than 14,000 leaflets to every house in the City.
Mr. F. G. T. Adams, presented the Swimming Committee’s report and said the average attendance was 35 with a maximum of 81. The 13th Lancaster Troop won the challenge shield; the individual championship (F. Atkinson) and the life-saving cup.
Mr. L.. H. Slater, on behalf of the Handicapped Scouts Committee, mentioned that the Association had gained its second Cornwell Badge awarded to Ronald Nessham, (sic) of Carnforth. Their other Cornwell Badge winner, Sam Cooke, was being taken out every Saturday afternoon by a rota of Scouts who had volunteered for that duty. He mentioned the case of a Bolton-le-Sands Scout who had spent about 12 months in the Royal Lancaster Infirmary at different periods and undergone five major operations and that he (the speaker) had never yet seen him depressed so that Scouting definitely did something for a boy.
The report of the Badge Secretary (Mr. J. W. Ellwood, who is now in the R.A.F. and to whom good wishes were expressed for a speedy and safe return), revealed that the record set up in the previous year for Proficiency badges had been well and truly broken; as 353 such badges, of which 205 were qualifying for the King ‘s Scout Award, had been gained against 213 and 128 in 1940. Seventeen King’s Scout, 15 first class, and eight green and yellow cords had been gained against 15, 15, and 13 the previous year. The number of awards for National Service showed a fall, with 49; against 118. Notable Troop gains were: 4th Lancaster, 70 proficiency, 3 King’s Scout, six first-class and two green and yellow cords; 1st Carnforth, 67 Proficiency, two First Class and one green and yellow cords; 16th Lancaster, 59 proficiency, one King’s Scout, two first-class and one green and yellow cords; 2nd Dolphinholme, 48 proficiency, two King’s Scout, five first-class, and four green and yellow cords. Cub proficiency badges, too, established a record with 34 this year against 24 last, and of these 28 had been gained by the 21st Pack.
The following officers were appointed: President, Sir James T. Travis Clegg; Chairman, Dr. J. A. Tomb; vice-chairman Mr. F. G. T. Adams; hon. secretary, Mr. F. H. Capstick; hon. treasurer, Mr. J. G. Swainson; hon. auditor, Mr. W. Satterthwaite; badge secretary, Mr. G. Penny; representatives to the County Scouts Council, Dr. Tomb and Mr. F. G. T. Adams; District Quartermaster, Mr. G. Penny.
Thanking the Mayor for presiding and for the use of the room County Commissioner T. W Helme, said that not only in Lancaster, but elsewhere, the Scout movement had had the backing of the civic authority and in Lancaster they had been particularly fortunate in that respect. “I am very interested to know that our numbers are over 600,” said the Commissioner, ” That, I believe is a record, and it will be very heartening to those who are away serving in the Forces and whose one desire is that we should keep the Association working strongly pending their return. Those boys have found their Scouting invaluable in adapting themselves to their new lives.” He thought that the fact that they had been able to form three new troops in the past year was remarkable. They had, of course, lost one or two, which was perhaps inevitable in the circumstances. He was glad to see there was again a Troop in Caton, and he understood that the Scoutmaster was shortly going into the navy, and he assured him that he would have the good wishes of everyone.
Ald. Helme added that the most significant event of the year, from the Scout’s point of view, was the loss which the movement had sustained by the death of Lord Baden Powell, the founder of the movement. No finer man ever lived, and he had left behind a record that would never die. He had linked together millions of people all over the world, caused inestimable pleasure to hundreds of thousands of boys. They had a great successor to him in Lord Somers, their present Leader. He paid tribute to the striking spirit of helpfulness and cheerfulness that Scouting brought to those engaged in it. Scouting from that point of view was one of the greatest things ever invented. He paid tribute to the work of Mr. G. Penny, and expressed the sympathy of the meeting with one of their Rover scouts at present a prisoner of war in Germany. To the relatives of those boys who would never come back they ex-tended their deepest sympathy.
Dr. J. A. Tomb seconded the vote of thanks and endorsed everything said by Mr. Helme, the Commissioner. He assured the Mayor that should the time come when the Boy Scouts might be needed in a case of emergency the City authorities could count on the full support of every member of the Association in protecting our liberty and freedom.