Sunday’s Founder’s Day service for the Barbados Boy Scouts Association (BBSA), with Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave and Lady Belgrave in attendance, marked the 104th year of scouting with pomp and pageantry.
During the processionals, renewal of pledges and awards for the Scouts at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex, the young men looked sharp in their uniforms; and they marched with precision and pride to the music of the Royal Barbados Police Force Band.
Beyond bringing the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex alive with the brilliant colours of the flags carried by the Beaver Scouts, Cub Scouts, Scouts and Leaders, the young ones integrally involved themselves in the ceremony. Two of the young men –– Mahogany Awardee Tekyle Alleyne-Callender and Chief Scout Awardee Christopher Brathwaite –– gave The Bible readings. Gloria Estafan’s Reach, sung by a young Scout to thunderous applause, was not part of the formal programme but fitted into the tone of upliftment.
A trumpet fanfare signalled the arrival of Sir Elliott and The Chief Scout and party at the complex, followed by the National Anthem played by the Royal Barbados Police Force Band. As part of the ceremony, the Broken Trident was officially relayed by six of the youngest Scouts, to match this year’s theme Scouting Celebrating 50 Years Of Independence
The evening was highlighted by the presentation of special awards, with several parents, fellow organizations like the Girl Guides Association of Barbados and well-wishers in the audience, giving support. The Barbados Gold Award, a uniquely Barbadian recognition of merit, with requirements including knowledge about heritage, was presented by the Governor General to Tashaun Callender.
Chief Scout Awards, for which recipients had completed at least 15 of the requirements of Scout craft, were earned by Christopher Brathwaite and Yannick Burrowes. Brathwaite was also the recipient of the PriceWaterhouse Coopers Scout Of The Year Ward, while the 2015 Troop Of The Year was won by the First Barbados Sea Scouts for their membership growth and participation in national activities.
After the Mahogany Awardees were recognized, there was a brief congratulatory video from secretary general Scott Teare of the World Scout Foundation, who personally applauded Barbados’ joining its peace messenger programme, along with 14 million other Scouts from the world.
The invocation was given by Marvaline Chadderton, Cub Scout Leader and principal of Holy Innocents’ Primary School, while Suzette Holder, BBSA assistant chief commissioner, special projects, gave the official welcome.
Rev. Lennox Boyce, who delivered the sermon, tied the often quoted Proverbs 22:6 about training up a child, to the timely theme of nation-building within his message.
“If we are to build a great nation, we have to look at setting good examples. Nation-building should be about building people.”
The ceremony was followed with a march by the Scouts from the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex to Sheraton Centre.