Cubs stage musical for 100th anniversary

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IN THE JUNGLE: Regional commissioner for the scouts, Martin de Bruyn aka ‘Scottie’, came from Port Elizabeth to speak at the Port Alfred cubs’ variety concert at Port Alfred High School on Saturday for the 100th anniversary of the cubs Picture: LOUISE KNOWLES

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TO celebrate the 100th anniversary of the cubs, akela Dot Fetherstonhaugh and her troops of meerkats, wolf cubs, girl guides and scouts celebrated on Saturday with a “round the world in 100 minutes” variety concert at Port Alfred High School.

Highlights from the concert include The Hills are Alive (Switzerland) sung by Jamie Webber with Lorna Els on the piano.

There was a sing-along from the around the world with master of ceremonies (MC) Rob Knowles and the audience singing When Irish Eyes are Smiling, Waltzing Matilda (Australia), Lily Marlene (Germany) and Sarie Marais.  The cubs also put on a play based on North American native culture.

Scout and cubs founder Lord Robert Baden-Powell was born in 1857 and was stationed in South Africa during the Anglo-Boer War at the Siege of Mafikeng, said Knowles. At this time he wrote a training manual called Aids to Scouting. On his return to the UK in 1903, it had become a best-seller, and in 1907 the first scout camp was held in England for boys between the age of 11 and 18.

In 1916, he published his outline of wolf cubbing for 7 – 11 year olds.   A wolf was one of the ranks given by certain Native American tribes to their best scouts.  Baden-Powell also asked his friend Rudyard Kipling if he could make use of his Jungle Book story. The meerkats precede the cubs and are aged 5-7.

Post-World War II, Baden-Powell was in South Africa for two weeks.  Piano player Lorna Els actually met Mrs Baden-Powell in Bedford in 1955 when she was a girl guide and served her tea. Although cub scouts has military tones, the intention was to create camaraderie, said Els.

Regional commissioner for the scouts, Martin de Bruyn aka “Scottie”, who is based in Port Elizabeth, came all the way to Port Alfred to speak at the concert and presented Dot Fetherstonhaugh with a certificate of appreciation.

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