Neville Weller

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20/7/1931 – 11/10/2012

Weller Neville.jpg

Neville was born in Green Point and had his schooling at Christian Brother’s College.

He joined the Scout movement on 26 Nov 1941 as a Cub and progressed to Scouts and Rovers. He was warranted as an Assistant Cub Master in 1952 and as a Rover Scout Leader in 1956 with the 3rd Green & Sea Point group.

Neville was instrumental in introducing mountaineering and Rock climbing to the Scouting movement in South Africa.

He was a founder member of the newly formed Scout Mountain Club which met for the first time on 29 July 1951 at the old Dommisse Hut in the isolated Ash Valley where he was elected as the first chairman. As a virtual life long member of the club he was instrumental in creating the first adult mountain leadership training course.

Arranging hikes for the Scouts was not limited to the peninsula and Neville led many country SMC outings and even a Guide and Scout Adventure hike in the Cedarberg in October 1966, predating the National Senior Scout Adventure.

In April 2010 the SMC hut, now situated on the back table of Table Mountain, was re-launched after an upgrade and it was an honour to have both Neville and his wife Colleen attending the unveiling ceremony. Colleen was for many years the Secretary of the SMC.

Neville married Colleen in 1958 and was a wonderful, witty, caring father, and family holidays centred around camping and hiking. His young daughter Juleen used to consider herself an honorary Boy Scout after Neville taught her how to build fires, pitch a tent properly, how to check hiking boots and sleeping bag for scorpions and snakes, and how to spot satellites while star-gazing before turning in for the night.

He and Colleen did several hiking expeditions through Europe, as well as hiking in 12 of Thailand’s National Parks during visits to their daughter who was based there.

Neville's other outdoor love was the Mountain Club of SA which he joined on 14 February 1951 and was soon appointed a rock meet leader. Some of the committees on which he served were the Cape Town General Committee and on Search & Rescue where he participated in many serious rescue operations. In 1967 Neville was convenor of the construction project team for building the Agtertafelberg hut, and afterwards served on the committee for that hut.

In 1987 he was elected an Honorary Life member and went on to earn his 60 years of membership Award.

Neville has gone home. May he rest in peace.

Compiled and edited by the Scout Heritage Team from records in the Scout Archives and with thanks for additional source material from Mike Scott of the MCSA and Neville's daughter Juleen