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One Hundred Years On

12 - 13 OCTOBER 1996

Dear David

Matabeleland has the singular honour of celebrating four significant Scouting anniversaries this year, namely:

1. The 100th anniversary that Lord Baden-Powell was first in the Matobo Hills learning and practising the bushcraft skills and seeing in action the Patrol system he later incorporated into the Boy Scout Movement. This booklet commemorates this episode of his military career of 1896.

2. The 85th anniversary of the introduction of Leader training in 1911 which was commenced under Baden-Powell’s personal direction. Those Leaders who qualified under this training scheme were awarded the Wood Badge which, as today, consisted of two wooden beads worn around the neck on a leather thong. The original beads were from Chief Dinizulu’s 4 meter long ceremonial necklace which Baden-Powell acquired in 1888 during his military campaigns in Zululand.

The Wood Badge as we now know it, consists of the wooden beads on a leather throng, the two strand leather Turks Head woggle and the special scarf of pinky grey material with the MacLaren tarten on its apex, was introduced in 1919 when Gilwell Park was donated to the Scout Movement by Mr W F de Bois MacLaren. Holders of the Wood Badge become members of the 1st Gilwell Park Group whose members are to be found throughout the world.

3. The 80th anniversary of the Wolf Cubs, now the Cub Scout section of the movement which was officially recognised in December 1916.

4. The 60th anniversary of the establishment of Gordon Park as Matabeleland’s Provincial Scout Leader Training and Scout Camping Ground in the Matobo Hills in 1936. Baden-Powell visited Gordon Park a few months after it was opened and said “Here, the wildest among the many jungle Gilwells that I have seen in different parts of the World, was a truly lovely backwoods camping ground”.

You are a participant of this most historical Gilwell Reunion - Cherish the moment.

Rosemary Moody
Leader, Matabeleland Training Team

Norman Scott
Provincial Scout Commissioner
Camp Commissioner, Gordon Park

Cover Illustration: Sketch by Baden—Powell of the action on the Umguza, 6 June 1896:
“Our line of 200 men, in attacking the enemy 1,200 strong, did not stop to fire, but charged right into them, which so unnerved them that they broke up and fled, and were persued for five miles, losing nearly 200 killed."

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And to bring the book to life...

Gilwell Reunion at Gordon Park 12-13th October 1996
Photo taken in St. Georges Chapel, Gordon Park
Back-row Left->Right: Norman Scott, ? , Ed Hall , Dave Anderson, ?
Seated Left->Right: Rosemary Moody, ?, ? , ?
(if you recognise any ?'s, please let me know - thanks)

Have any books to display here? Do email them in...

Acknowledgements:-Dave Anderson
Colin Anderson
Tracey Connell