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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

THE BOY SCOUTS MOVEMENT IN KGF


The Boy Scouts Movement was started in India by the British as early as 1909 in Bangalore but it was open only to British and Foreign Scouts. In 1916, the Indian Boy Scouts Association was founded and was open to all Indians.
In 1929, Mr. V.N. M. Felix, who was a Malaria Inspector, attached to the Sanitary Department, Champion Reefs, founded The 5th Kolar Gold Fields (St. Mary’s) Open Scout Group, that functioned from the Champion Reefs Scout Den until the late 1980s. Scouts from this Den attended many state and national level camps under the leadership of Mr. Felix. Scout meetings were held regularly on Saturday evenings. The Scouts and Guides movement in KGF was quite active under Mr. V.N.M. Felix, who was the Scout Master in KGF. He was a short thin man with a huge white mustache. He wore his khaki shorts and shirt and the Scouts tie, scarf and stockings with pride. Besides, training the young boys to be scouts he also started the Bulbul Movement for the girls. Mr.S. A. Bayley, a British Officer, who was the Chief Cashier and Accountant in Nandidroog mines was the Vice-President, K.G.F. District Scout Association in the 1940s and 50s. His contribution to the growth and popularity of the Scout movement in K.G.F. was significant. In 1946 he was awarded the ‘Silver Elephant’ (which is the highest award in Scouting in India) by the then Chief Scout His Highness The Maharaja of Mysore! The Boy and Cub Scout Movement was active in the K.G.F. School up to the 1950s then went into decline.



In 1962, Mr. Dudley Pinto took over as the Head Master of the School from Mr. Sterling. Incidentally, Mr. Pinto was the Group Leader and District Scout Master at the Southern Railway Mixed High School (English Medium) in Khargpur, West Bengal, where he worked until 1961. In 1966 some students prevailed upon Mr. Pinto to revive the Boy Scouts group in the KGF School. Accordingly, a Scout Group with about 20 boys was formed with Mr. Pinto as Scout Master in KGF School. Mr. Felix and Mr. George Bastian of the St. Mary’s Scout Den, Champion Reefs, were closely associated with the Scout activities of the KGF School.
In 1967, Mysore State celebrated the Golden Jubilee of Scouting at the Central training Camp in Doddaballapur in which the Scout group from the school participated. A two day Scout Camp was also conducted by Mr. Felix at Bethamangalam for the scouts of the KGF School. The Scouts movement was quite active for a few more years, but with the departure of Mr. Pinto from K.G.F. School, the Scout Movement was overtaken by the NC


These pictures of the 2 day Scout Camp at Bethamangala in 1967 attended by the Boy Scouts from KGF School were very kindly given to me by Mr Ravindra Kumar who now lives in Chennai when I was bringing out my book on KGF. Thanks Ravi.

THIS IS AN EXCERPT FROM MY BOOK KOLAR GOLD FIELDS DOWN MEMORY LANE.

3 comments:

nigel said...

thanks Bridget for brief story of the Scout movement in KGF.I am a Scout Leader in Wales but have a vested interest as my dad worked at the mine KGF in the 40s and I found a couple of old photos from those days recently.The family lived in Bangalore.regards Nigel

nigel said...

thanks Bridget for brief story of the Scout movement in KGF.I am a Scout Leader in Wales but have a vested interest as my dad worked at the mine KGF in the 40s and I found a couple of old photos from those days recently.The family lived in Bangalore.regards Nigel

nigel said...

thanks Bridget for brief story of the Scout movement in KGF.I am a Scout Leader in Wales but have a vested interest as my dad worked at the mine KGF in the 40s and I found a couple of old photos from those days recently.The family lived in Bangalore.regards Nigel