BP's visit to Cape Town in 1912

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Visit of the Chief Scout, Sir Robert Baden Powell, Cape Town August 5th - 7th 1912[edit]

Lord Robert Baden-Powell of Gilwell

The Boy Scouts of the Cape District were particularly fortunate in that the visit of the Chief Scout fell on the August Bank Holiday an arrangement which gave an opportunity to every boy as well as every official of being at the Rally held in honour of the occasion.

On his arrival by sea from Port Elizabeth the Chief was met at the Docks by the Mayor, Sir Frederick Smith, and also by the Administrator, Sir Frederic de Waal, both of whom gave an official welcome to the visitor. Thereafter the Scout Executive held an indaba with the Chief and the party then proceeded to the City Hall to partake of the Mayor's lunch, to which all the Scoutmasters available had been invited. While the lunch was proceeding the troops were assembling at the Rhodes Memorial in the grounds of Groote- Schuur, where they awaited the arrival of the Scoutmasters.

At a short distance from the Memorial the thick bush affords excellent cover and the troops were concealed in this till such time as they might be required. Shortly after they were safely tucked out of sight, the Mayor accompanied by the Chief Scout, the Administrator and General Hickman, came along and climbed to the roof of the Memorial. After viewing the magnificent panorama which lies unfolded to the spectator from that lofty position, the Mayor blew his whistle and the body of Scouts to the number of about 350 sprang from their hiding places and raced clown to the rallying point where three lusty cheers were given for the Chief. The latter then descended and inspected the boys. After a short address the King's Flag was consecrated by the Dean of Cape Town and presented to the colour party formed by King's Scouts. Displays of Self Defence, Bridge Building, Ambulance, Knotting and Splicing, and Field Telegraphy concluded the afternoon.

The following evening a large public meeting in the City Hall was presided over by the Administrator, when the Chief Scout gave some account of the aims and scope of the movement.

On Wednesday he sailed for England, having concluded a tour of all the Great British possessions and the United States. A line of Scouts on the outer jetty signalled a farewell as the steamer moved slowly out oft the Docks, and with a wave of his hat in reply the Chief sailed away from the country which had been the scene of so much of his earlier life

The impression left in the Mother City of the Union as the result of his visit was the immense possibilities before the organization he represents, and a strong desire to see the Scout movement in South Africa properly organised and efficiently managed on the widest possible basis.

Scout Heritage 2013

See also[edit]

Baden-Powell's visits to South Africa