Colin Finnie was Greenock born on the 30th November 1903. In August 1914 and at eleven years of age, he joined the 5th Renfrewshire Scout Troop (West Kirk’s Own). He was promoted to Patrol Leader in 1916. In 1921, he left the 5th to help with the setting up of the 52nd Renfrewshire Troop.
The 52nd were attached to the Middle United Free Church of Scotland (becoming Greenock St George’s Church of Scotland in 1929.) He was warranted as Assistant Scoutmaster in September 1921, Scoutmaster in February 1925 and Group Scoutmaster in April 1933. In January 1927, he gained the Wood Badge.
The Troop Colours and Pack Totem Pole were dedicated in the Church on 3rd June 1928 by the then minister Rev George A. Mills, M.A..
Colin continued with the 52nd until April 1954 when the Troop was disbanded. The Group Flags were initially retained by Colin’s family and are now laid up in Greenock Westburn Church of Scotland which prior to various Church Unions was the Greenock West Kirk. This was the Church where Colin began his Scouting life stretching over seventy years.
In May 1933, he was granted a Warrant as Assistant District Commissioner (Camping) for Greenock District, a position that he held until December 1970 when the age rule required that he relinquishes this appointment.
All of his Warrants were signed by Robert Baden Powell. In 1954, the cancellation of his Group Scoutleader’s Warrant was accepted with regret and cordial thanks by the then Chief Scout – Lord Rowallan. Similarly and in 1971, his Assistant District Commissioner’s Warrant was notated by Chief Scout – Sir Charles McLean.
He was the Leader of the Renfrew County contingent to the 1951 World International Jamboree held in Austria and for a long period was on the Headquarters Staff for many Blair Atholl Jamborettes.
In June 1957, Colin received the ‘Medal of Merit’ in recognition of outstanding service to Scouting. This was followed in 1980 by the award of the ‘Silver Wolf’ in recognition of services of the most exceptional character in Renfrew & Inverclyde over many years. The Silver Wolf is the unrestricted gift of the Chief Scout.
Even in his eighties, Colin’s enthusiasm and love of Scouting continued. In 1985, he received a Certificate to mark his 70 years of Service on Greenock Scout Council.
During his working life, Colin was best remembered as manager of the West Station branch of the Greenock Provident Bank. Sadly he died in August 1988.
In his youth, Colin took his enthusiasm from his father, also named Colin.
Colin Finnie snr joined the Scout movement in 1910 – two years after the foundation of the Scout movement. In 1933, he was awarded the Medal of Merit in recognition of his Services to Scouting. Sadly, he died in February 1939.
Click on to the image below and view some mementos of Colin’s scouting history.