Garnet de la Hunt
25/8/933 – 28/4/2014
Garnet de la Hunt was born in Cape Town and after attending Rondebosch Boys High School he graduated from the University of Cape Town. He became an Assayer on the Copperbelt, in Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), and moved to South West Africa (Namibia) to become senior Analytical Chemist with the Tsumeb Corporation. Returning to Cape Town he joined Blakes Bricks Limited, becoming Production Manager and later Alternate Chairman. In 1970 he launched an independent brick company and this he has built into a very efficient operation.
Lifelong Cub & Scout
Garnet has been active in the Scout Movement since the age of eight. Originally a Cub and Scout with 1st Pinelands Group, Cape Town, where he in 1950 became a King's Scout, he became Scout-master of 2nd Pinelands Troop. Moving north, he was successively Scoutmaster of 1st Nkana - in Kitwe (Zambia) - and 1st Tsumeb (Namibia). In 1976 he played a key role in uniting the four Scout Movements into one unified non-racial entity, despite the political regime of segregation. Following a short spell as District Commissioner for Somerset West/Stellenbosch, he was in 1977 appointed Area Commissioner of the Western Cape.
Garnet's grandfather was a Scoutmaster in the early days of Scouting and his father had excitement, fun and adventure as a Scout. At the time of their marriage his wife Virginia was a Pack Scouter, and was for many years a member of the Cape Western Adult Leader Training Team, both their sons gained the Springbok Scout badge and their daughter earned the equivalent Founder's Badge in the Guides.
Chief Scout of South Africa
Garnet was Inducted as Chief Scout of South Africa at a ceremony held in the Gilwell Chapel, Gilwell Florida, Transvaal, on 29th June, 1985. The Induction, attended by 70 members of the National Scout Council and others from all over South Africa, was carried out by the Rev. Sandy Gilfillan. He was Chief Scout until 1995.
Chairman of the World Scout Committee
The World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM) elected him as the first person from South Africa to be the Vice Chairman of the Africa Region Committee from 1990 to 1996. In 1999 South Africa hosted the World Scout Conference in Durban and at this conference Garnet was elected Chairman of the World Scout Committee, a position he held until 2002, another first for Southern Africa. He took up the position of National Vice President of the SA Scout Association (SASA) and in 2011 the position of Chairman of the National Scout Council.
For his services to Scouting, amongst others, he was awarded the Order of the Silver Springbok which is the highest award in South African Scouting and the Bronze Wolf that is awarded by WOSM in recognition of his service to World Scouting. These awards are only given to people that have provided a lifetime of selfless and voluntary service to the upliftment and service of youth and country.
Order of the Baobab
On the 27th of April 2013 Garnet received the Presidential Silver Supreme Counsellor of the Order of the Baobab. The Order of the Baobab recognises and awards people for their commitment to the upliftment and empowerment of generations and as such the development and growth of the country as a whole. This award was bestowed on him by President Zuma for his exceptional, inspirational volunteerism and dedication to community service and youth empowerment within the South African Scout Movement.
Additional to his service to Scouting, Garnet was a successful entrepreneur, a long time Methodist Lay Preacher and served in various management roles within the Methodist Church as well as the Scripture Union of South Africa.
In 2015 he was posthumously honoured with the highest accolade Rotary International can bestow on an individual, the prestigious Paul Harris Fellowship Award.
Garnet was an inspiration to those who knew him and to many young people throughout the Movement who in turn are doing their best to inspire and empower others and his legacy will live on.
SA Scouting Heritage 2014