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Grey Owl’s Goodbye
Posted on Saturday, January 25th, 2014
Well of course I don’t mean, I won’t be happy to see you all again, I just got to a point when I didn’t want the onerous task of ADC Beavers. I am very pleased that the reins have been taken over by Thelma as I know she will do a good job. I had a great time in the 7 years I was ADC. The Beavers were my Beavers and the Leaders were my Leaders. I am glad now to have retired with so many happy memories.
The Beaver Section is vital to Scouting and the children learn to accept the values and to be together happily. In my time (26 years in Beaver scouting) I have seen beavers become Queen Scouts and even become leaders in the District. Of course not all the beavers did this but I know in Beaver Scouting they have made good friends and have many happy memories to take into their adult lives.
A few words about my parting gift, I wanted to give the Section something they would all see and be proud of.
Ahmeek the bronze Beaver sits on top of the District Beaver Colours and will be carried proudly at the head of your own Beaver flags. Beaver scouting started in Canada and “Ahmeek” is the Native American name for the beaver. Our Beaver was made by an ex venture scout from the District. Paul Joyce has become an expert sculptor in bronze and runs his own foundry in Essex. While making our beaver he had a visit from an internationally renowned sculptor who finished off the modelling for him giving it a touch of the master. I know Paul was very happy to make something for his old district.
Why did I call myself Grey Owl? Well, early in the last century a young English man went to Canada to live a life in the wild. He made a living trapping for furs which were widely used in the fashions of the time. He learnt a great deal and made friends with the Indians who gave him the Indian name of Grey Owl. Trappers had started using explosives to blow up the Beaver dams because they could make a lot of money from their skins. Grey Owl could see that they were wiping out the animal and conducted a campaign to stop this malpractice, he became known as friend of the beavers.
Enough about me – I want to thank you all for making the Christingle such a happy occasion for me. A Christingle service started my involvement in the Section and it was so appropriate to finish in this way. I was overwhelmed by the gifts, brought to tears by the poem and the song, and totally embarrassed by being dressed up and made to sit in front of the Church. Yes you got me, all of you but what a send off. I loved the book you had made with all the beavers writing or drawing something for me. The vase is beautiful and the flowers you gave with it. There were other gifts as well and oh you had all made such an effort to make it an occasion, finishing the following week, after the Pantomime, with a meal at the Malvern.
Thank you for 26 years of “Fun and Friends”, Grey Owl.