Friday, February 20, 2015

Thames (NZ): Thames Scouts' trek to Coromandel 1921

There are reports of the Dominion Boy Scout movement in Thames from 1909. Details of packs were outlined in the paper, the leaders at that time were: A Conway, H Adams, E Morman, and A Casey. (see below)
Thames Star 21 May 1909
Over the following years the boys participated in a  wide range of scouting activities, helping with WWI activities in the town and during the influenza epidemic of 1918.
 
One thing they looked forward to each year was the annual trek to Coromandel. Some details of the 1921 event were provided in the Thames Star during January 1921. Some Snippets are below:
Thames Star 8 January: “Whilst every Scout undertakes the trek with the understanding that he is expected to walk, it was very funny to see the eagerness with which they accepted the offer of lift as far as Puru, on a motor ‘bus which happened along.” There were about thirty boys and they sang a song with a few word alterations:
“It’s a long way to Coromandel, It’s a long way to go; Good-bye dear old Pollen St, Good-bye Grahamstown, It’s a long long way to Coromandel, And my heart’s right there.”
The first night was spent at Tapu. Tea was cold pickled pork, potatoes, bread and butter, and cups of tea. Breakfast was at 6am and they set out for Kerita at 7.30.
They arrived at lunchtime and spent the afternoon swimming and involved in scoutcraft. For tea they had irish stew.
Thames Star 11 January: News of arrival at Coromandel on the third day – from Kerita 15 miles and two high hills. The Coromandel Boy Scouts met the group and led them into town. (details right)
Thames Star 12 January: While in Coromandel, the scouts played sports and undertook other activities. A cricket match against the Coromandel boys, was a close match but Coromandel won 57 to 45. There was a church parade as well.
On the Monday there was to be a football match and scout concert. Tuesday was to be sports, then the following day the trek back home. Planned stops were Kerita, Puru and back home in Thames!
Thames Star 18 January: Good news reported, the Thames boys won the football! The sports day went well, with the boys winning t tug-of-war and some relays. The Coromandel Brass Band played on the day. On the way home they stayed in Mr Jamieson's barn at Kerita and at Mr Paul's property at Puru. Some boys wanted to create a record and push on to Thames, but many were exhausted so the decision was made to rest and go home the following day.
 
PHOTOS of the GREAT TREK FOLLOW:  

Description 1921 - THAMES BOY SCOUTS HOLIDAY MARCH TO COROMANDEL: THE LAST BREAKFAST ON THE ROAD.
Taken from the supplement to the Auckland Weekly News 10 February 1921 p041
Source:  ' Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19210210-41-1 '


Description 1921 - THE COMPANY ON THE MARCH.
Taken from the supplement to the Auckland Weekly News 10 February 1921 p041
Source:  ' Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19210210-41-2 '

BACKGROUND ON SCOUTING MOVEMENT IN NEW ZEALAND:
At Wikipedia - Dominion Boy Scouts: Major (later Lieutenant-Colonel) David Cossgrove centrally organised Boy Scouts in 1908 and formed the Dominion Boy Scouts. The Dominion Boy Scouts and Robert Baden-Powell's Boy Scouts Association affiliated in 1913 in an uneasy relationship. Cossgrove's Dominion Boy Scouts introduced "Junior Scouts" in 1913 with "Bull Pups" programs. After 1916 some Junior Scouts operated "Wolf Cub" programs. Cossgrove died in 1920 and in 1923 the majority of the executive of the Dominion Boy Scouts reconstituted themselves as a branch of The Boy Scouts Association.

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