8th Bulawayo (Hillside) Scout Troop (Zimbabwe) - Feb 1986 Tramp Magazine
8th BULAWAYO (HILLSIDE) SCOUT GROUP
G.S.L.'S REPORT ----------
During the last few years, we in Scouting have had the privilege of celebrating a number of important anniversaries. In 1983 our Group celebrated its 50th year. Then the 75th anniversary of World Scouting was celebrated in grand style by a World Jamboree and a local Join-In-Jamboree, the latter, in which many of you participated. Last year, 1985, saw the 75th Anniversary of Scouting in Zimbabwe and now we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Gordon Park, the Provincial Scout Training Ground in the Matopos.
This festival of anniversaries we are experiencing so close together should remind us that our movement is strong and healthy and that we are playing our part in its continuing growth. Over the years many people, both young and old, uniformed and lay have contributed their time and talents to its development. Testimony to this is the increasing number of Cubs and Scouts in Zimbabwe today. Certainly our movement has had its ups and downs when times were not conducive to an increase in membership. In fact, in some years membership declined. Scouting, however, was founded on a strong foundation and wherever it took a sever knock, a way round the problem was found. The ever present problem of insufficient adult leaders however, has not been easily solved. Over the last few years this has been of particular concern to those who have remained. Fortunately the tide appears to be turning as new leaders are found and new Groups opened.
We Scouts in Matabeleland can be thankful to the small band of Scouts and Leaders of yesteryear who were devoted to the ideals of Scouting, especially those of the 1st Bulawayo (Pioneer) Group. It was they who laid the foundation to a truly magnificent Scout Training Ground in the heart of the Matopos, that today is second to none in the world. They were fortunate in that the Matopos offers such challenging, interesting country, ideal in which to practice the art of Scouting.
Fifty years is a long time which most of us cannot visualize. We hear of the people who helped to develop the Park but they are just names. Unfortunately as time passes many of those names are forgotten and it is only the few outstanding personalities whose names live on. As we go into this anniversary year of Gordon Park many special events will be organised for us. In participating in these special events pause for a moment and think of what the event is celebrating. One common thought should come to mind and that is that Scouting is for boys. It does not matter if you were a teenager in 1910, 1930, 1970 or today 1986. Scouting provides for a close friendship, for adventure, for challenge, for developing your own talents and interests. By participating you are making history, for without your support the Scouts of tomorrow will not be in a position to write the continuing story of Gordon Park.
(Group Scout Leader)
Good morning; Sabone; Bonjour; Goeiemore.
For the benefit of you skabangas or brain crammers who never visit the Park, I am glad to announce the completion of our "majestic concrete block" that was erected in a tributary to the Mtjshelele River for a huge, gigantic, absolutly enormous conservation project. HUMPH! If one cares to wend ones way to Gordon Park on its 50th Anniversary one shall see a wonderous sight, the water lapping against the "majestic concrete block" and the bull rushes swaying in undulating motions whilst fringing the gently rolling sides of the dam. If one should care to sit and watch, one should see the birds soaring and flapping, while the fish frolic in the cool waters of the dam(n)!!!
So come all on the 22nd to G.P. and witness its 50th (once in a lifetime) birthday. (after this it will be approaching 100; Norm you've got competition.)
This year the Troop will have an active program and everyone should enjoy it. Good luck in exams and tests and dont forget, moenie forget nie, aikona foreti, noubliez pas, that Buffalo is... best.
and "B" for Best)
Assistant Patrol Leader
On Christmas day I went to G.P. and it was exciting because we had lunch. Santas wagon was on top of the roof with a buck and there was presents in his sack.
I couldnt believe my eyes
Hi there fans,
Yes, its me again, accompanied by my faithful half devoured pen. Life is a big drag with school masters lurking in all the shadows, waiting to pounce on any unsuspecting scholar.
G.P.'s 50th Anniversary is coming up and we will be having a gas camp. At GP, Norman decided to move his 1,5 tonne pebble to the dam wall. Standing on his pulpit, with a whip ordering his 100 or so Egyptian slaves. But fortunately for them, Captain "ATLAS" (Ken Nortje) was at hand and saved the day by offering his broad shoulders (1,5 inches) to do the work.
Anyway, my pen is now too short to write with, so I must depart.
To whom it may concern.
This has not been an over exciting month, infact it has been a fairly terrible month with school starting and all that hard work stuff. During the month we were visited by some Australians who visited the troop and told us all about Scouting in Kangaroo land. We also had a wide game at Hillside Dams which, shall we say, was different.
With the Gordon Park Anniversary, the official naming of the dam on the 22 February coming up, the Park has been a hive of activity. (how's that for good Engels) Part of this activity included dragging a huge big granite slab to the dam wall, for the name plaque to be mounted on. Of course this was only achieved with the great, terrifying, intelligent, muscle bound, unique help of Ken, who had the privelige of coming to Gordon Park at this time.
The cement mixer was also loaded onto Emma, but unfortunately this time it did not succeed in running Graham over! By the way, good luck to Andy Blundel who is or rather has, left us in peace and departed to Harare.Well, apart from the quick-step, dancing is going very well and is proving quite successful - thanks to Mr and Mrs Mac.
Now we just have the G.P. celebrations to wait for, so until then be nice to each other and be happy.
January has been a very busy month, with all the preperations for the Gordon Park Anniversary. The dam is finnished and the Dam Name Plate Rock is now in position, (with the help of Ken "Atlas" Nortje, and the deductions from the Concise dictionary) Graham was the photographer ofcourse. We also had a family of Australians that came to visit the Troop. They told us all about Scouting in Australia. On the 1 February, we had a wide game at Hillside Dams. The 'Police' team seemed to get more and more men, by the second. The 'bombs' seemed as if they would never be found and everybody had a good time.
The Gordon Park 50th Anniversary Celebrations should be very good, and I'm sure they will be attended by all.
On February 2nd, we took Ken Nortje bundu bashing, and Graham Ross and Graham Williams showed us the very interesting surroundings.
The Gordon Park 50th Anniversary souvenirs are very nice, especially the badges, and I think that everybody should buy a 'wine mug' or a 'sherry cup' (Thats what Norm calls them anyway.)
Cheers and good luck to Andy Blundell, who has left us, but I'm sure he'll come and see us from time to time.
Bob is still hanging in his tree by the Stables and he looks very sorry for himself! Mind you, I dont blame him. Those filthy maggots crawling around in his block. (I dont know why Havelock McNielage took a fancy to him at all!!)
Oh, well. Thats all from me for now. Cheers.
One Wild Weekend
BRRRRMM - VRRM and the heavy clang of a construction site. Sweat, dust, grime and dirt washed down with noise. Home in the evening and ready for a hot bath - and rest when...."Vaughan - get packed, we're off to GP in an hour!" - and so the story started.
A few hours later, speeding along the South African highways from Boksburg (near Johannesburg), I was sitting in the comfort of a Ford Siera watching the moon rise as all around the clouds bristled and shook and lightening flickered within. Glenn Crisp and I were just as high, just as static and excited. That night was spent on a farm (not a pig farm either) near Pietersburg and the next day early we were away shooting along, as if through a time tunnel. Our heads spinning, creating a vortex of flashing colours and objects and towns, bridges, trees and hills all whizzing by. Once past the beaurocratic bumble of the Border Post we were back in time.
Nowhere is it that the trees are so green in summer, where the grass appears so lush in the warm wet months, or the ever changing cloud masses can appear so familiar! The place is Bulawayo - the area Matopos - the feeling is magic. Few can appreciate the emotions felt after a long leave of absence. Not many may notice that glint of slanting sunlight upon a precarious rock as well as the dossie scurring away under a massive boulder and the brave little tree etching an existence out of a crack in the most solid of rock.
You can imagine Norman Scotts surprise when he saw Glenn and I that Friday noon. I'm sure he moved mountains to get the afternoon off. Well, we bought food and so the two "slopey tourists" began their fourty-four hour stay in Bulawayo. Without a doubt, we headed out immediately towards G.P.
Once out, Norm took us on our walkies round the Park. For Glenn it was a new experience - a whole year had elapsed since his last short visit - and noticed all the new development - wrought iron burglar gates over storeroom doors, new ablutions here and there, the still visible effect of the drought like the huge dead trees and empty streams requiring the need for the construction of a pan for the game. Last but not least we had to be shown the DAMN. This, the largest man made lake in the whole of GP is truly a mark of mans determination to work against all the odds and make dreams come true. Everyone dreams, only men carry them on till their bitter end. There we sat in our deck chairs, drinking our chilled cocktails, looking across the cool, gentle undulating surface through our 99cent sun glasses. Just a pity the gentle undulating surface were the reed tops blowing in the gentle breeze, while the dam wall stands, patiently waiting for the clouds to let rip, and the drought to break. I look forward to that day, Hylton.
That evening, while Norman attended a Troop meeting back in Bulawayo - Glenn and I went up to Worlds View. There we sat amongst men who had fought for their cause. Men who had realised their dreams. It was well worth all the travelling to sit and absorb the peacefulness of that desolate but rich granite dome.
Saturday was spent in the Maleme hills. The Matopos is a relatively small but largely unexplored place, unknown to most. Even Norman, who has spent a great deal of his life in the area hardly knows all the wonders of the place. Every kopje is a potential sight for a grain bin or rock painting find. Theres always an "overhand in the air" or something and Titch points out a peculiar section of rock while Norman identifies an "Albizia Tanganyicensis" - a tree typical to the dyke running through parts of the matopos. High from their precarious rocky nests the Black Eagles watches us as inGuluvane tackles the rugged terrain. There we stumble upon evidence of the complete but clean destruction of Mother Nature. Lightening had struck a boulder at the right place - and without a trace of ever being here, it had knocked the boulder cleanly off, and it now lies on dead trees and crushed bushes - showing a new face to be erroded. Lunch under a shady tree - Tuffees cooked and eaten to perfection.
While Norman went to Mass that evening the day ended as beautifully as the world was created. Cold wet clouds rolled in on the Eastern horizon with scattered scouts blowing across and ahead. To the West, the sun thrust beams of rich orange light through distant wind stretched clouds. Once again we went off to Worlds View. Hardly ever have I been so contented as I sat - with the wind tugging at my clothes and hair - and watched the closing of the day and then turned round and watched the coming of night and a full moon rising.
For his Chief Scouts Award, Titch cooked supper - a superb meal from Asparagus through to Roast Beef and downed with Peaches and - condensed milk! Well, very tired, but happy we slept off the days enjoyment. Up early on Sunday to catch our lift back to South Africa. By evening that day we were in another place, another time, another mood - just a different world?
"Hey what, Monday Morning, gee I had a fantastic dream...."
THE ED WISHES TO THANK THE FOLLOWING FOR THEIR DONATION TO TRAMP:
Scenes at G.P.
The Dam at G.P. under Construction
NEWS FROM THE CUB PACK
My sincerest apologies - last year became somewhat hectic and the Cub News never seemed to reach TRAMP. Maybe some of what follows should be called "Cub History" but I feel it should nontheless be recorded.
We have all felt the loss of "Akela" Justine Ralphs very deeply. However, as a result of her hard work for the 8th and the good name she helped us attain, the Cub Pack continues to grow in strength and we now have a full pack of six Sixes.
Our annual Parents Evening in August last year was, as usual, well attended. Congratulations to all those who received Trophies or certificates.
ACHIEVEMENT SHIELD : Red Six
This took us into third term and on 11th October we saw Paul Green, Brendon Fisher, Steven Enslin and Stuart Smith go up to Scouts. Paul, Brendon and Steven had joined the 8th in September 1982 and had done their best in receiving all three Arrows. Stuart only joined us in September '83 but still succeeded in receiving his Bronze and Silver Arrows. They all went up to Scouts proudly wearing their Link Badges. We Wish them Happy Scouting.
On the same day Gavin Jones, Simon Smallfield, Angus Chambers, Grant Horner, Richard Dewar, Adam Burgess, Paul Ryan, Francis Maponga and Kevin Strydom were invested into the Worldwide Brotherhood of Scouts and we welcome them to the 8th.
During the term the following Arrows and Badges were awarded:
BRONZE ARROW : Stuart McFarlane, Steven Lombard, Warrick Riley
Coming right up to date we welcome our latest group of new chums - Adam Bowers, Mark Gilbert, Warren Glover, Brandon Howard, George Morgan, Kirk Thompson.
Three Bronze Arrows have been awarded to:- Ivan Howard, Richard Dewar and Neil McEntaggart.
Well done to all those Cub Scouts who have received their various badges and arrows. Keep on "Doing your Best" and so keeping the Promise you made at your investiture.
I would like to thank "Bagheera" Louise Smith who received her Warrant as an ACSL in September and who has been such a staunch help in the last few months. Welcome also to Gwen McFarlane who is now coming along on fridays to help keep the records up to date and to join in the fun and games.
My final thanks goes to the Cub Instructors, past and present, who play such an important part in the running of a successful and happy Pack. Congratulations to ross Bentley who won the Cub Instructors Trophy on Hobbies Night.
Don't forget the Beetle Drive on 15th February.
Photo from Worlds View by Erling Söderström at http://www.korubo.com/photoarchive.htm