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Founder’s Day Parade – 2009

P1010056.JPGOn a extremely warm afternoon, this years Founder’s Day Parade was held on Sunday 31th May 2009. Over seven hundred uniformed members assembled within the grounds of the Battery Park prior to the march off. To mark the Centenary of the 6th Greenock & District (1st Gourock – Colonel Darroch’s Own)  the Service was held in Old Gourock and Ashton Church.

The Parade was in two sections. The first, led by the Scout Centenary Pipe Band, consisted of the 6th, 10th, 32nd, 33rd, 45th, 47th. 57th and 59th Groups.The second section led by the Parkhall Pipes & Drums consisted of the 70th, 73rd, 97th, 80th, 85th, 97th and 5th Groups. Our District Commissioner David McCallum and the Rev David Young marched behind the Scout Centenary Bandand in front of the 6th Scouts.
The March proceeded along Eldon St, and Cardwell Road, through the Larkfield Road junction, Broomberry Drive, King Street and Royal Street to the church.

The Service of Celebration was taken by the Rev David Young with Beavers, Cubs and Scouts of the 6th (1st Gourock) taking part in Bible Readings, Prayers ans sketches. Guests included The Provost of Inverclyde Mr Michael McCormick and Councillor E. Ahlfeld.

During the Service, District Commissioner David McCallum payed a tribute to the 6th Scouts as follows:-

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Tribute to 6th Greenock & District Scout Group on the occasion of their Centenary,given by District Commissioner David McCallum at the District Service on 31st May 2009 at Old Gourock & Ashton Church

The 6th Renfrew and Inverclyde were first registered on the 25th June 1909, almost exactly 100 years ago

Soon thereafter to be known as Colonel Darrochs Own which is in recognition of the support over the years from the Darroch Family of Gourock. The first meeting place for the Troop was the stable block of Gourock House, at the foot of Darrock park, which was owned by the Darroch Family, now used today by a local art club

There are some interesting facts and stories.

The old Scout Hat which the Group treasurers was originally worn by Joe Collins, a former group member and personal friend of our founder Lord Baden Powell, serving under BP at the relief of Mafeking. The hat is complete with bullet hole, the result of a skirmish with Boers. John Blair will probably remember the occasion well !

In February 1921, Henry Ellis, started to edited the 6th Renfrewshire boy scout group magazine “The Patrol Call”. Originals from 1921 to 1923 are held in the Watt Library in Greenock . One issue includes an article by Neil Munro, later to become the author of the Para Handy tales.

Sadly 11 members of the group gave their lives in active Service during the First and Second World Wars.

From  records of the1930’s the total annual expenditure for the group was £2 2s 2d, a far cry from the expenses I am sure the group has now

After the Second World War the Scout Troop was rejuvenated by former members returning from military service to run the Troop, the most memorable being the late great Donald King. Donald was instrumental in strengthening ties with the local Ashton Church. He managed to persuade former Scout Jimmy Logan to open the 1956 variety show which raised £100 for the troop. A A couple of years later Donald managed to pursuade comedy legend Ricky Fulton to open the group fete. Donald always did have an eye for talent.

Donald who was later awarded the Silver Wolf, the highest recognition that any scout can receive from the Chief Scout, kept immaculate records and minutes from every meeting he ran in his 19 years as Scout Leader

Donald’s records tell us:

‘1957 the Troop numbers had swollen to 48,  and in this one year the Troop won the County Flag, Donald married Jean, the 50th anniversary service for Scouting was held in Ashton Church and Donald, along with A.J.Mollett and P.Fleming attended the  Jubille Jamboree at Sutton Coldfield.

The following year 1958 saw the presentation of new Flags to the Cubs and Scouts, these Flags are still on display in this church ( Old Gourock and Ashton Church,). On 23 November 2009, former Chief Scout Sir Garth Morrison came here to present the group with new colours kindy donated by former assistant Chief Commissioner for Scotland, John Hawthorn .These are the colours which led our parade today.

There have been many Chief and Queens scouts over the years, and many summer camps abroad (Austria, Denmark and Germany to name but a few)

1969  the new Hall at Drumshantie Road was officially opened by Mr D.Kerr the then County Commissioner.

At the turn of the Century, Group numbers were declining, however after the untimely death of Donald King the leader team were galvanised to grow Scouting in Gourock to the levels of Donalds heyday. This was achieved with an established, dedicated and growing team of Leaders led by GSL Gordon McCready delivering a balanced programme, with the support of a well established executive committee. This is reflected with Group numbers now well over 100 strong.


I would like now to pay tribute to the support given to the group by the church. Long may this continue. Thanks to the Rev David Young, a new commer to Scouting, but I think he is slowely becoming a big fan !

It only now leaves me to say ‘Well Done’ to the 6th Greenock & District team for a centuary of scouting in Gourock which has shaped so many lives. Good luck and good scouting for the next 100 years. Congratulations are also sent to you today from the chief Commissioner for Scotland, Eleanor Lyall, MBE, and from Provost McCormick and Inverclyde Council

Please join with me in wishing the group a huge happy birthday

After the Service, the Parade assembled and returned to the Battery Park. En route, the March Past was taken by District Commissioner David McCallum and Provost Michael McCormick both of whom joined the rear of the Parade on the return to the Park.

Upon the return to the park, the assembled parade stood at ease to witness Long Service Service Certificates being presented to various Leaders and thanks being given to two Group Scout Leaders who were standing down after many years service Steven Mitchell of the 5th and Robert Lynch of the 10th.

The Queen’s Badge Award was presented to four Explorer Scouts of the 32nd Northface Unit.- Mark Sinnamon, Chris McDermott, Brendan Mearns and Jonathan Webb,.. .

Click on the photograph below to view a selection from the day.P1010148.JPG

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