Afternoon Tea for Scouts Queensland
Chief Commissioner, Mr Daryl Scott and members of the Branch Executive Committee and the wonderful Scouts Queensland family. As Governor and Chief Scout, I am delighted, with Kaye, to welcome you all to Government House this afternoon, as I continue a proud tradition of vice-regal patronage that stretches back over one hundred years.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands, and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
This building and its grounds have long played host to many historic occasions involving the participation and assistance of Scouts and Girl Guides, including fetes, awards ceremonies, visits by members of the Royal family, and the worldwide Scouts founder, Lord Baden Powell.
Indeed, I was interested to learn that at a rally held here in 1936 to mark the visit of the then Australian Governor-General and Commonwealth Chief Scout, Lord Gowrie, an incredible 2,500 Scouts and Girl Guides stood on parade in the grounds, flying flags of welcome.
That must have been an amazing spectacle to behold.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to limit numbers attending today’s event – and we cannot hope to reach the dizzying heights of 1936.
But the echo of Scouts past, continues to highlight the enduring resourcefulness of an organisation that has survived Wars, Depression, and even now a pandemic – given the success of the Scouting@Home initiative (pronounced ‘Scouting At Home’)! I was honoured to acknowledge this initiative’s success earlier this year, when I released a video to Queensland Scouts from these very grounds.
I am confident, that although many of the organisation’s activities have been curtailed by the current situation, Scouts will continue to enrich the lives of young Queenslanders and encourage them to become more resilient, caring and capable adults.
During my time as Governor, I have enjoyed meeting Scouts from across the State, visiting dens in Mount Isa, Longreach, Mackay and Cleveland, and presenting Scouts Queensland awards to many worthy young recipients – although sadly there are no awards this year due to COVID-19.
I am always struck by how committed Scouts are to upholding the ethos that underpins their movement.
Indeed, I still remember my time as a Cub Scout and Scout with great fondness. I know that beyond the current active members and adult volunteers, there are many thousands of others like me who are still drawing on the skills, and taking strength from the values imparted by their previous scouting experience.
In the words of my predecessor Governor and Chief State Scout, Sir Leslie Wilson: “We take scouting very seriously in Queensland”.
Kaye and I thank all members, supporters, Scout leaders and Scouts joining us this afternoon for continuing to honour this fine tradition, and for so willingly giving your time to help others. We wish the Scouts Queensland family a successful year ahead and hope you and your loved ones remain safe and well.