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The ‘Dandy 5th’ Centenary Events

DSCF2998.JPGAs already recorded on the main page, the 5th Scout Troop were the first Troop to be registered in Greenock.
They began in April 1908 under the auspices of the 5th Argyll & Southern Highlanders. Hence the use of the number 5 rather than the 1st.

To celebrate their centenary year, a number of events have been held.

The Provost & Councillors of Inverclyde Council have honoured the Group by hosting a Civic Reception to mark their Centenary. This was be held on Thursday 9th Ocober in the Grand Corridor of the Municipal buildings.

On Sunday 26th October, a Centenary Service for the Group was held in Westburn Church Greenock. The Service, led by the Rev W. C. Hewitt, paid tribute to the proud history of 5th with separate sketches being performed by the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts. The traditional Birthday Cake had the candles blown out by a young Beaver followed by the congregation singing ‘Happy Birthday to you’.

Speeches by Group Scout Leader (Stephen Mitchell) and District Commisioner (David McCallum) recognised the support given over the years by the Church. A Centenary display board showed the changing names of Church – The West Kirk, The Old Kirk, St Luke’s and the Westburn.

The ornate display of flowers on the Chancel were donated and arranged by Mrs Moira McFarlane, a former Cub Leader and daughter of Jimmy McElwee who was Group Scout Leader for a long number of years. Jimmy was awarded the Silver Wolf for his Service to Scouting. This award is presented for ‘services of the most exceptional nature’

To conclude their Centenary celebrations, the 5th Scouts held a Celebration Dinner on the evening of Saturday 28th March. Many old friendships were renewed with the oldest former member in attendance being a very active Jack Fraser who is 92 years young.

After an excellent meal, there was much reminiscing on the glorious days of the ‘Dandy 5th’

Speakers all spoke of their memories. Sir Albert McQuarrie who told of the early years,  Archie Hart gave his memories in verse. Steven Mitchell told of the present time.

District Commissioner David McCallum revealed the story of the young hero, Duncan Murdoch, who at the age of 13 years jumped off the Admiralty Jetty in Gourock to save a friend from drowning. The boys had gone fishing to get food for a stray cat. This happened in June 1952. He was awarded the Gilt Medal which was presented to him by Chief Scout Lord Rowallan.

Chaplain Bill Hewitt spoke of the importance of the Group as part of the life of Westburn Church. The vote of thanks was proposed by Ronnie Mackay.

Sir Albert McQuarrie presented the Group with  a Cup which will be competed for annually  by all members of  the sections of the Group. This was accepted by Scout Kieran McGarrity.

Click on the image below and view a selection of photographs of the Centenary events.


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