PowWow: 1964 Report
Cub Pow Wow 1964
Held in conjunction with SANJAMB 1964 in Pietermaritzburg – Natal.
Report by Oscar de Vries (Beaver) GSM of 1st Observatory and Cape Western Contingent Leader for Sanjamb 1964.
This report is from writings of the Cape Western Sanjamb Contingent Leader and as such not the actual account of what happened on the Pow Wow. However, from the writings, we can at least get an idea.
Friday 10 January
Tugela Sub-Camp members set off from Chase Valley to Lexden Camp, about 3 miles away, to put up tents in preparation for the Cubbers attending the Pow Wow. 8 Tents were erected on a beautiful site at the Lexden Camp.
During the course of the afternoon the Cape Western Cubbers arrived at our Chase Valley site, they were Mr Peak (Commissioner), Ms Alice Hawis and Ms Lorraine Eldersby. They were shown around the Sanjamb camp by Rex Koning (TS of 1st Bellville) and myself (Oscar de Vries – Sanjamb CW Contingent Leader and GSM 4th Observatory).
The two ladies put their campfire blankets on exhibition with those from our camp. Jolly good ones they were too. They were entertained in our tent whilst Mr Peak went to check Lexden Campsite and make arrangements for booking in at the Plough Hotel.
Meanwhile, the rain came down, and as it was a heavy downpour, it was announced that the main campfire was off and that transport was being laid on for all to attend the cinema in town. By this time tents were all partially flooded, but the rush to get out was on.
The Cubbers left for their Hotel and arranged to meet Koning and myself at the cinema, Mr Peak would call for us by car. He arrived late eventually to collect us, but this was due to him loosing his way. The picture we saw was With love from Russia. The cinema was packed out with Scouts and Scouters.
On returning to camp, the rain had not let up and most of the Scouts had to be evacuated to the Show Grounds. This was done by means of busses, and went on into the early hours of the morning. Due to the kindness of Ms Eldersby, who lent me a stretcher, I was able to stay in camp with those not evacuating tents standing on slightly raised ground. I had no intention of leaving camp and would have slept on a table if necessary. Even though the weather was terrible, the night hike was not cancelled and the Patrol taking part left in high spirits, and only returned to camp again at 9am the next day.
Saturday 11 January
Today was a mass march past through Pietermaritzburg and of course our Cape Western Division drew the attention of the crowds by their smartness and the precision saluting of the Diaz by the Contingent.
During the afternoon about forty Cubbers from all over the Republic seemed to converge on our camp and by afternoon were treated by Tubby (Camp Chief Goldman), doing the obstacle course, putting on a good act at each obstacle to the delight of the crowd. Inter Sub-Camp soccer took place and by late afternoon all the Cubbers left camp for Lexden for their Pow Wow under leadership of Commissioner Twigs (Peak).
Shortly before leaving camp for the swimming gala, a message was flashed over the camp speakers – Oscar de Vries, you are wanted at the Administration Tent immediately, there is a nice young lady to see you – the camp calls, wolf whistles and "we will tell your wife" were heard from all sides.
The call was repeated, but it was then said it was two young ladies, leaving the entire sub-camp to pull my leg unmercifully. The message was again repeated and the young ladies had now gone up to three – and I was requested to come alone!
It was the two Cape Western Cubbers and one from Natal who had come to join us to go to the swimming gala instead of their campfire – which I subsequently learnt from Commissioner Peak, was a proper flop.
The gala was a good success and on returning to camp, Alec Stonnell, Sub-Camp Chief drove the Cubbers back to Lexden Camp.
Sunday 12 January
Scouts Own was held at 9.30am. Projects were resumed and numerous visitors entered the camp to watch the Scouts at work. Lexden Scout Camp Cubbers Pow Wow was over by midday, personally I think the interest was more in seeing the Sanjamb, and all the Cubbers came to Chase Valley for the afternoon. Later the weather started to turn nasty again and the rains came down. The Cape Western Cubbers stayed for supper and expressed that it was the best meal they had enjoyed in camp.
After supper farewells were said to our Cubbers and we all went to join the sing-song under cover of the Information Tent. All the farewells during the day and now were most unwelcome after such good times together.
The Pow Wow tents were only taken down on Tuesday at Lexden, by the Cape Western Contingent, who were left to dismantle the rest of Chase Valley Camp as well, as everyone else simply pushed off on the Monday, leaving wet tents standing. We were stranded you see, due to our train only leaving on the Tuesday evening for Cape Town.