SANJAMB: 1964 Report
Chase Valley, Pietermaritzburg: S A National Jamboree
3 to 13 January 1964
Quote: The Jamboree site was quite the most beautiful place at which to hold a Jamboree. The valley was once used as a trout hatchery and had many beautiful trees and streams of water running through the camp.
Western Cape Contingent's Report
This short narrative is based on the activities of the Cape Western Contingent and is a reflection of their Jamboree experience.
Oscar de Vries was the Leader of the contingent of 64 Scouts and 4 Scouters and he created a 107 page Log Book on which this document is based.
31/12/1963 – Tuesday The Scouts paraded on the Cape Town Station at 8.00pm, and after having been addressed by the Divisional Commissioner, Alex Harold 'Silver Fox' Maspero, the Scouters and Scouts were called upon to give three Bayates to the Divisional Secretary, Carl 'Serpent' Rayner, and those who made it possible for the contingent to attend the National Jamboree. Amid great cheering they had a marvellous send off.
3/1/1964 – Friday After a tiring journey of two days and three nights on the train they finally arrived in Pietermaritzburg at 4.10am and were all relieved to be free of the confined space. They were met by three senior Scouters who escorted them to the busses waiting to take them to the Camp. It was raining on their arrival. Arriving at Camp at 6.00am they were met by the Camp Chief, Tubby Goldman, and members of his Staff, all in their pyjamas. They were shown to their Sub-Camp and the Scouts wasted no time in getting organised. In the evening there was a Civic Reception in the town hall where the Mayor welcomed everyone.
4/1/1964 – Saturday The official opening was at 3.00pm in the afternoon and was truly a great success. It was a beautiful sight to see all the Scouts, at the given signal, leaving their places of hiding and racing over the parade ground to the Dais. There were speeches by the Divisional Commissioner of Natal (Ian Dalglish), the Camp Chief (Tubby Goldman), the mayor (Mr Bulman) who declared the Jamboree officially open, the Chief Scouts Commissioner (Carveth Geach) and Dr Constantoulis organiser of the Greek Jamboree. In the evening there was a very enjoyable Sub-Camp Campfire
5/1/1964 – Sunday A Scouts Own was held in the morning and was followed by Projects and Badge Tests in camp. In the afternoon the camp was open to Visitors.
6/1/1964 – Monday At 9.30 all the Scouts went to Peatie Lake for the day. The Activities included a Mile Swim, racing in punts (a small flat bottomed boat) and raft making. The heat was excessive and that evening a severe storm broke causing the Campfire to be cancelled
7/1/1964 – Tuesday The 'Factory Adventures' consisted of trips to either a tanning extract factory or dairy or aluminium factory. Their first trip was to the Tanning factory and in the afternoon consisted of projects and sports until it again started raining. There was a Cinema show in the evening.
8/1/1964 – Wednesday This morning the 'Factory Adventure' was to a Diary which included free flavoured milk and an ice-cream. In the afternoon there was a trip to Queen Elizabeth Park where white rhino were an attraction.
On the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights the Senior Scouts went on an authentic all night hike.
9/1/1964 – Thursday - An all day adventure consisted of a trip to the Howick Falls where some of the Scouts climbed all the way down to the riverbed to take photos. The next stop was the Midmar Dam for lunch and a very interesting talk was given by the construction manager. In the evening the Scouts attended a cinema show and the Scouters attended the Camp Chiefs' dinner at the Norfolk Hotel in Pietermaritzburg.
10/10/1964 – Friday The last group went on their Factory Adventure and in camp there was a Handcrafts exhibition. Mr de Vries then took some Scouts to Lexden to put up tents for the upcoming Cub Pow-Wow. During the course of the afternoon the Cape Western Cubbers arrived, they were Mr George Peake, Mrs Alice Howris and Mrs Loraine Eldersby. They were shown around the camp by Rex Koning and Oscar. Because of the rain the combined Campfire Concert was cancelled and the Scouts went into town to the cinema and saw 'From Russia with Love'. On return it was raining so hard that the Scouts had to be evacuated to the Show Grounds for the night.
11/1/1964 – Saturday In the morning there was a parade through the streets of Pietermaritzburg with the Mayor taking the Salute.
From reports received the Scouts marched smartly and were a credit. After the parade the Scouts were allowed to go about the town until midday when they were busses back to Camp.
In the afternoon Visitors and Cubbers from the Lexden Pow-Wow were in Camp to view the various projects. In the evening there was a swimming gala at the Municipal swimming pool.
12/1/1964 – Sunday A Scouts Own was held in the morning and in the afternoon Projects were resumed and numerous visitors entered the camp to watch the Scouts at work. The Lexden Cubbers Pow-Wow was over and all the cubbers came to Chase Valley for the afternoon. With it raining again the evening farewell sing-song was held in the information tent.
13/1/1964 – Monday The closing was a simple ceremony ending with a prayer. Some of the Contingents started heading for home whist the remaining Scouts were free to go into town for the afternoon.
14/1/1964 –Tuesday The Cape Western Scouts assisted with taking down and packing of the tents and at 7.00pm boarded the train for the journey home.
16/1/1964 – Thursday All arrived in Cape Town around lunch time and the Scouts formed up on the station. They were thanked by the contingent leader for their courtesy and co-operation throughout the whole period. After being dismissed the Scouts and Parents thanked the Scouters for all that they had done for the Scouts. Thus closed another exciting chapter of Scouting history.
Border Contingent's Report
(The Border Region was in and around East London, Ed)
The National Jamboree was held at Chase Valley, Pietermaritzburg, From January 3rd - 13th, 1964.
The Border Contingent numbered 30 Scouts and 8 Scouters. We left East London by car in the early morning of January 2nd and were waved good-bye at Komgha turn-out on the main road by the Divisional Commissioner, Mr. Harland Bell. Our first stop was Umtata where we had breakfast. From Umtata we were to have travelled in convoy, but the slowness of the Kombis made big gaps in the distances between vehicles and so the journey was slow - but sure. The cars made several stops along the way for the boys to take pictures and have lunch and we pulled into Pietermaritzburg at 5 pm. having had rain or light drizzle all the way. The trip was enjoyable and trouble free.
On the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg, we formed up into convoy once more and had no difficulty in finding the Jamboree Site. We pulled into the camp amid much blowing of hooters to announce the fact that the Border Contingent had arrived. We were welcomed by the Camp Leader, Mr. Tubby Goldman and were shown our site.
The Jamboree site was quite the most beautiful place at which to hold a Jamboree. The valley was once used as a trout hatchery and had many beautiful trees and streams of water running through the camp.
The Border Contingent had the best site and we certainly made good use of it. We camped alongside, the Natal and South West Africa Contingents, all of which comprised the "Umgeni" Sub-camp which I had the honour of loading. I was given a big tent with every comfort, including a field telephone to H/Q which proved a wonderful help. We arrived the night before the Jamboree started and were lucky in being able to get ourselves neatly dug in and well organised before the main Contingents from Cape West and Transvaal arrived After their arrival, the Jamboree began to buzz.
Fortunately for all, the tents were partly pitched for us and certain equipment had been placed in convenient positions for us to help ourselves, and the first day was devoted to settling in and being briefed.
Saturday was the opening day and the Chief Scout's Commissioner Mr. Carveth Geach arrived for the official opening and camped a few days with us - the Chief Scout having had to fly to Paris suddenly. The Opening Ceremony was very simple and yet dignified. The Scouts hid themselves in the trees around the camp and, on a given signal, ran in towards the dais where all the VIPs were seated. The Scouts formed up in Sub-camps to witness the Flagbreak and hear the opening talks which were most inspiring.
We then all marched up to the main entrance where a Plinth was unveiled to commemorate the Jamboree. After this the local visitors were entertained to demonstrations by the Indian Bugle Band and the joint Caledonian Pipe Bands of Durban and Pietermaritzburg, ,The visitors then went round the sites after which tea was served.
During the afternoon the project Scheme was sent off to a good start when boys attempted the numerous projects which had been well planned and organised. This was of great interest to the public. The stiff commando course was well received and was attempted by most boys. There were some casualties but nevertheless the project was carried on.
On Saturday night the sub camps held campfires which went off well and were feelers for the main camp fire which event had to be cancelled on account of rain.
On Sunday we had a most impressive Scouts Own and the yarn was well received by boys and Scouters. The afternoon was again open to visitors and in the evening the boys were allowed to attend Church Services. Monday started off with a bang as the whole camp went out for the day to Peatties Lake when many Scouts qualified for the One Mile Swim and other badges.
On the Tuesday there wore visits to local factories and places of interest. These continued throughout the week. The afternoons were devoted to camp projects and stunts.
During the week 3 night hikes were arranged, the boys leaving the camp at 11p.m., and arriving back a-t. 8-30 a.m. These were tough and were carried out in rain although the conditions were somewhat wet those who participated had an experience which they will remember -. for a long time.
One night was devoted to a 'Night Beat', when the boys were taken to places of interest to see what actually happens at the Police Station at night, the local newspaper and so on.
A fine outing was arranged to the Howick Falls and Midmar Dam also a most interesting outing to the Queen Elizabeth Nature Park to see the wild animals when the boys were given a lecture and films on Wild Life by the Game Warden. A swimming gala was held in the local baths and we gained second place.
Saturday, 11th, came and we had a march down the main streets, the Mayor taking the salute. The march was very well done and afterwards we were allowed two hours in town before returning to camp by bus. The Border boys gave a good account of themselves and I enjoyed leading them and the Scouters who went with me proved their weight in gold. We were given a rousing send-off when we left for home on January the 12th
Inspection on Sunday morning was followed by the annual B.P. Memorial Scouts Own, conducted by D.C. Cecil Roberts who based his yarn on the 4th. Scout Law. At the conclusion of the Service, a collection was taken for the World Scouting Friendship Fund which realised R16.00.
Mr. Carveth Geach then addressed the large gathering of Scouts, Cubs, Rovers and parents, emphasising how modern day Scouts should model their lives on the chivalry of the Knights of old. Four Scouts were then called to receive their Springbok Awards, followed by. the presentation of four Rover B.P. Awards, the first to be obtained in the Division.
A small gift was then presented to Mr. Geach on behalf of all present in appreciation for having given up his time to visiting us
A parade of Roman Chariots and Gladiators, drawn by bicycles, suitably decorated followed the tea interval. Parents were then entertained by Scouts doing the Commando course set up in the camp. This course was most exciting consisting of many thrilling hazards. The afternoon was taken up with striking camp and, at 3 p.m. each Scout was given a Camporee Badge to commemorate the camp.
The Sports Shield was presented to 1st Cambridge Troop and the Northlands District were the overall winners of the week-end camp
Ack: The Border Scout March 1964
Patrol Night Hike
The Patrol left camp (Jamboree Site) at 23.00 hours sharp. We headed up the road till we reached English Road and turned left. Lightening flashed continuously and it was hardly necessary to use torches. The road led up a hill through an avenue of wattles. At the top we jumped the fence, and from here we had the first partial view of Maritzburg. Soon afterwards it started raining and progress became a little slower because of the slippery surface.
We entered the plantation (wattle) and followed the paths as instructed. After some tough walking we crossed a style and then clambered up a steep hill. On reaching a fence we turned to the right so as to find a place to get through. We then passed through some bush and reached an open field. From here we could see Maritzburg to the South. A hundred yards further we reached the Voortrekker Trails and followed it towards the left. On clearing another gate we walked for about another 200 yards and came across an old ox-wagon standing by the wayside.
At 01.00 hours we stopped to have our chocolates. Soon we came to a railway which is used for transporting of timber. At this point it started raining hard again and the road was extremely slippery. After walking for about a mile we saw a large red light through the trees and 10 minutes later we were glad to see it was a light along the National Road.
We followed the road in a torrent of rain for about three miles until we reached the entrance to Queen Elizabeth Park, we turned to the right and followed to road to World's View then at 03.00 hours we reached the top of Worlds View where we were to have breakfast. Here we also caught up to the patrol that left before us.
After breakfast which consisted of biscuits, tinned meat and dried fruit, we made our way down the steep incline until we reached the gravel road below. We followed the road to the left and once again reached the National Road. By this time the sun had come up and the torches were not required any more.
From here it was just a matter of following the road back to Chase Valley. On the way a Scouter passed us in his car and offered to take our kit back to camp. About a mile further on we reached a Police Station and on seeing a policeman asked him to take us back to camp in a truck. At 06.10 hours we walked into our tent soaked to the skin, and glad to be able to settle into a warm bed.