Sunday October 28, 2012
Scouting can be greatest unifying force for youths across Guyana – GSA President As the Scouts Association of Guyana (SAG) celebrates its 103rd anniversary, the body is looking to significantly increase its membership over the next five years, particularly among young people across Guyana. President of the association, Ramsay Ali, said that one of the key objectives of SAG over the next five years is to increase membership by 30 percent each year. “We are the oldest scouting organisation in the Caribbean, and the second oldest in South America. We are very proud of this heritage and the positive impact scouting continues to have on young people in our society. It transcends race, ethnicity, religion and class, and can be a true unifying force for all Guyanese who come on board,” Ali said. Instilling a sense of purpose and independence in young people, he pointed out, is one of the key roles of scouting, which has served to produce Guyanese who went on to hold important positions across the country. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the three-day celebrations on Friday, October 26, Vice President of the association, Ron
Robinson, said SAG has been pivotal in building character and shaping the minds of young people. “As the youths grow in scouting they will learn to become good leaders as well as followers. I want to encourage them to respect at all times, the leadership of the association as well as each other, and be proud of the rich history of scouting, the oldest organisation of its kind in the world,” Robinson said. In his address to the more than 200 scouts gathered at SAG headquarters, the Vice President lauded former Commissioner of Police, Henry Greene, for his integral role in boosting the association’s membership over the years. “Over the past several years scouting has expanded in Guyana, particularly due to the extensive input of former scout and Police Commissioner, Henry Greene. Mr. Greene was personally and directly involved in the development of scouting and due to his influence, a significant number of youths became involved, some of whom went on to join the Guyana Police Force,” Robinson stated. In her remarks to the scouts, Chief Commissioner, Zaida Joaquin, reminded them that they were tasked
Acknowledging the March Past are President of SAG, Ramsay Ali, Chief Commissioner, Zaida Joaquin and District Commissioner, Domo.
with carrying out traditions that date back to more than a century. “For over 105 years, Scouts have set a high standard of service and duty to God and country. Our Commissioners and Leaders devoted long hours to building the knowledge and
integrity of our Scouts. It is not an easy Job. I want to thank the Commissioners and the Scout Leaders for taking the time to care. I want to thank you for your leadership and thank you for setting such a good example for a new generation of Scouts,” Joaquin said.
She pointed out that wearing the scout’s uniform is a privilege, equivalent to making a statement. “Your uniform is a sign that you are a certain kind of citizen— trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, brave, clean and reverent. These are
the values of Scouting and they are important values for Guyana. By working to live up to them, you are bringing great credit to yourself and to our nation,” the Chief Commissioner said. The Scouts Association of Guyana is the only Organization in Guyana that has dedicated almost 103 years to the development of participating young people and young adults through its non-formal educational program of activities. It belongs to the largest youth organization in the world. Scouting came to Guyana just two years after it was founded in England. The Scouts Association of Guyana was founded in 1909 in what was then British Guiana under the leadership of Sergeant Major GeorgeManly who was a member of the British Regiment stationed there. The first Scouts Troop was formed at Queen’s College. The Association is the oldest Youth movement in the Caribbean, the 2nd oldest in South America and the 9th oldest in the world. In August, 1969 Guyana hosted the Fourth Caribbean Jamboree. “Not only Scouts from the Caribbean attended that Jamboree, we had Scouts from the U.K., Canada, France, U.S.A. and Australia. The venue for that great event was the National Park. “The memory of that event still lingers in the minds of those who participated. Again, in 2009 when the Association celebrated its Centenary year of Scouting, it hosted the 14th Caribbean Jamboree which was held at the Sophia Exhibition Site.”