Scouts Queensland Installation of ‘Saluting Scout’
Chief Commissioner, fellow Branch Executive Committee members and National Vice President Major General John Pearn; Lord Mayor; Canon Harch; proud Scouts and delighted guests. I am delighted once again to be amongst the Scouting community.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands, and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
It was wonderful to attend the Founder’s Day Service at St Mary’s this morning, a church so entwined with the development of Scouting in our State. It was there that Charles Smethurst Snow, the first Chief Commissioner, was organist and choirmaster when he united four Patrols to form Scouts Queensland in 1908.
It is an honour to be here, 112 years later, as current Governor and Chief Scout, and as a former young Scout.
Scouting provides an inclusive environment where you can discover and expand your talents. You gain skills and acquire qualities that benefit you throughout your life.
To the young Scouts here today, I urge you to grasp every opportunity that comes your way, as you never know where the journey will take you. Today, our journey has brought us here to Scout Place, a dedicated space acknowledging the history of Scouting in Queensland.
In 1988, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, whom I represent in Queensland, officially opened Expo at Southbank.
On display was a series of fibre glass statues, created by Artbusters under the direction of John Underwood. One of the statues became fondly known as the ‘Saluting Scout’. Chris Berry, a scout from the Mount Bruce Troop at Camp Hill, had been the model.
The figure is of a saluting Scout – in a stance as if proudly acknowledging our nation’s flag.
The stance and attitude portray a spirit prepared to work hard and contribute to community life – the qualities of Scouting for which we are so proud to strive.
However, it is the raised face, anticipating a bright future, which is for me the statue’s most striking feature.
How often in this remarkable world do we now find people, regardless of age, ever intent on looking down into their digital world.
This statue encourages all those who pass this way, to lift their heads and engage with the tangible world around them. It inspires us all to ‘be prepared’, and to look beyond established bounds, to harness the sense of adventure and inquisitive spirit which denotes Scouting as exceptional.
I congratulate all involved in recasting and reinstalling this statue, including Scouts Queensland and particularly the Brisbane City Council. I am delighted to see the recast ‘Saluting Scout’ permanently placed here in this prominent location where it can be appreciated by passers-by for many years to come.
It is my great honour to shortly join the Chief Commissioner in unveiling a plaque, thereby officially rededicating the ‘Saluting Scout’ here at Scout Place. Thank you.