A century of Scouts

SHARED PASSION: Venturer Tom Whitely and ex-leaders Bert Phillips and Norman Johnston share a love of Scouting.
SHARED PASSION: Venturer Tom Whitely and ex-leaders Bert Phillips and Norman Johnston share a love of Scouting.

Scouts everywhere are united by a keen sense of adventure and camaraderie.

Saint Heliers-Glendowie Scouts are proud to be one of the oldest groups in New Zealand.

They are celebrating 100 years this year.

Former leader Norman Johnston says it is part of the family atmosphere of the district.

"The people involved are also active in a range of community activities. Reaching 100 years is a real milestone."

His good friend and former co-leader Bert Phillips agrees it is an important celebration.

"It's an opportunity for me to meet up with all the people I've been involved with over the years and reminisce about the good times."

They fondly remember their days working together as Scout leaders from 1975 to the late 1990s.

Mr Johnston says during those years he learnt the importance of community service and helping those less fortunate than himself.

He attributes the fact his whole family has a love of the outdoors to their involvement in the Scouts.

His 6-year-old granddaughter Taylor Nassau, who is a Kea, is continuing the family tradition.

Mr Phillips says the range of activities on offer has always been the big driver for people to get involved.

"We were in the fortunate position of being able to do a lot of camping. Nowadays it's more difficult because our lifestyles are busier."

He still helps out on the technical side of things and builds sets for the stage show the Scouts put on every two years.

Tom Whitely, 15, would like to be a scout leader someday.

He has come up through the Scouting ranks since he joined as a 7-year-old Cub and is now a Venturer.

While it was his parents' idea that he join, he has continued because, "it's just good fun".

He says it teaches good morals and you get to do so many activities, like camping, paint balling, shooting at a range, skiing and rock climbing.

"Some kids hassle me for being part of Scouts but if you enjoy it, you're not fussed. I think it's really worthwhile and have enjoyed every moment I've been there."

If you are a past member or have been associated with the group in any way, the Saint Heliers-Glendowie Centennial Committee would like you to mark the centenary with them on the weekend of September 22 and 23.

Contact Bert Phillips on 636 7729 or Norman Johnston 575 7524 or at stheliersscouts.100@ hotmail.com.

East And Bays Courier