Thursday, 10 January 2013

70 years of Scouting experience

You realise, as a leader, you have big shoes to fill when you walk up to a man, see a badge on his sleeve that reads 65 year of service. It is only when you start talking to him you find out 2013 will mark 70 years within the Scouting Movement, all within the Fraser Coast District.

Harry Goodwin joined scouting in 1939, at the age of 13. He has seen a lot of action since he joined, but is still finding the passion at 87 to come along to AJ2013. He has even sought a special request to extend his stay to help others due to a fellow member falling ill. Harry is really loving seeing all the many happy faces walking around.

I took the time to sit with Harry and listen to his wonderful career, he began in Scouts in 1939 and progressed through the Scouting ranks to Patrol Leader. In 1942, the Chief Commissioner of Scouting QLD, at the time, sort out Harry and appointed him Scout Leader of the Maryborough Scouts. He was 17 at the time, and he questioned the decision saying he was 'too young'. But as most of the leaders had joined up for World War II service, there was little choice.

The term of Scout Leader only lasted six months, when at the age of 18 Harry signed up to the air force. It was interesting to hear that even while away, the years during the war were credited towards his service years. Harry had a tale to spin that during his training he was required to tie a reef knot, now the Air Force trainer at the time, not knowing Harry's background, came in to find that Harry had not only tied the Reef Knot but had completed the six basic knots he had been taught in Scouts. The instructor than asked Harry to go instruct others on how to tie the knots. Scouts paid off.

Over the time in the service, Harry was sent to Sandy Bay, Sydney and Melbourne for training and then on to Canberra where he was assigned to the 13th Squadron named the Lockheed Ventureurs. Now if you look at Harry's background this seems a bit funny, in 2013 he will achieve 70 years of service, and the Ventureurs is very close to the Venturer Section.

For two years and eight months Harry was in service he was sent to Cooktown, Gove NT, Manus Island PNG, and Borneo where he saw the war end. Harry completed his time as a Leading Aircraft man and missed on being appointed as a corporal due to the war ending.

Upon his return to Maryborough, Harry went on and completed a Wood Turning apprenticeship and returned to the Scout movement in 1949. At the time he was hoping to be with the Scout section but was asked to be a Cub Leader. Harry had no idea what was involved to be a Cub Leader, so the Group Leader presented him with a stack of books to learn.

Since that moment he has not looked back and has remained involved with Cub Scouts ever since. He has now since moved to being a District Cub Scout Leader and Youth Program Support for the Fraser Coast District.

When asked how many Jamboree's he has attended, he answered two, 1982 at  Collingwood Park QLD and 1970 at  Leppington NSW. He is at AJ2013 to showcase the heritage display and is surprised by the size of the Jamboree and how well it is running.

He has a great story on how to cook a damper properly by using two size tins. Place the damper mix in the small tin once greased and then place the larger tin over the top. Cooks to a  perfection! As a cook at many camps he has never had the chance to sample his many varieties at they don't last long. His favourite damper recipes are with fruit, cheese and milo added.

Thank you Harry for your dedication to Scouting we love that fact that at 87 you are still willing to be involved. He has tried to retire but they keep asking him to pull on the khaki, oops that should be blue shirt every time. You are a real treasure and I thank you for sharing your story with us here at AJ2013.

This is Harry 60th year service award and article in the local paper on display on display at the Heritage Museum here onsite.

Story by: Stephen Hughes

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