Scouts recall first jamboree
By JAMIE BROWN
THE 1938 World Jamboree in Sydney marked a coming of age for former Lismore scouts Harold McKee, Morris Stone and Charlie Scotcher.
The trio reflected on their adventures yesterday, before their old troop ? 1st Lismore Scouts ? celebrates 90 years of activity with a reunion on Saturday night and a demonstration at Oakes Oval on Sunday from 9.30am to 4pm.
For Mr Scotcher, then 12, preparation for the jamboree involved taking up an extra paper route to save enough money for the train ticket.
For Mr Stone, the oldest of the trio at 13, the journey involved his first train ride ever.
One of the first stops once the boys hit the big smoke was Luna Park, where Lismore Rover Scout Arthur Nelson persuaded the amusement park manager to reduce the entry fee for all scouts attending the jamboree.
The result was 12,000 scouts from all over the world getting eight rides for two shillings each.
"You could hardly get into Luna Park it was that crowded," Mr Stone recalled.
According to Mr McKee, then aged 11, Lismore Scout's leader at the time was former World War I digger and local constable Sergeant Jock Love.
Sgt Love adored giving his troops demonstrations on how to get food out of a tin can using just an axe and when rains put out all the fires the former soldier demonstrated his prowess by cooking rice in a haybox.
For the old scouts, the years spent in the movement was time well spent.
Mr Scotcher recalls learning to tie useful knots such as bowlines and sheepshanks, Mr Stone remembers the discipline training enforced by Sgt Love. And all three recall joyful days at their annual camp next to Lake Ainsworth.
"We spent all our time in the water," Mr McKee recalled.
Registered by Lismore High School principal Charles Best in 1917, 10 years after the movement was founded in the UK, the 1st Lismore Troop is now supported by 30 young people, aged 6 to 14.