Passage West Scouts Golden Jubilee
Writes Leo McMahon
Fifty years of fun, personal development, achievement and being outstanding ambassadors for the locality were celebrated on Saturday, April 22nd by the 41st Cork Passage West Scout troop on the occasion of its 50th anniversary.
Marmullane Park was a hive of activity, as each section demonstrated their skills for the many in attendance. These included the beavers (aged 6 to 8) with a bamboo star and track and trail layout; the cubs (9 to 11) with backwoods outdoor cooking; the scouts (12 to 14) with a campsite layout and chocolate treats and the venturers (15 to 17) with hammocks and shelters with everything overseen by adult rovers. Lovely hot dogs etc., were served by leaders Colm Killeen and Terry O’Hagan.
Across the road in a room at the Mens Shed renovated by the venturers, was an exhibition of memorabilia such as old roll and log books, photographs, newspaper cuttings, and a vast array of trophies, plus a large commemorative framed green and white flag for past and present members to sign their names on.
Next stop was the adjoining Fr. Gerard Collins Community Centre, where the troop is based, for excellent refreshments, provided by the parents and friends committee, and the formalities, where special guests were given a guard of honour and led by Carrigaline Pipe Band member and venturer Edmund Casey.
An excellent slide show and history was delivered by Una O’Regan, who outlined the many highlights since the troop first met at the CYMS Hall on April 24th, 1967.
Among founder and early members present were first scout master Ger Clark and his assistant Fred Alcock, patrol leader Eddie Cole and his brother Jack, Oliver and Tony O’Donovan. Other founders included Michael Galvin, Frank Breen, Jimmy Crowley, Sean Clark, Peter Lydon, Victor Galvin and Donal Coughlan.
Chief Scout Awards in recognition of skills development etc., were presented to beavers, (mentor John Eric Leach), Josh and Ben Walton and Tony Geraghty, by group leader Darran McMahon and to cubs, (mentor Leah Livingstone), Jack Sheehan, Gavin Coleman, Matthew Brennan and Max Jones by Scouting Ireland County Commissioner for Cork South Richard Pumphrey.
Repeating what he did in his first duty as regional commissioner a few years ago, Richard presented wood badge awards to Passage West, this time to trained leaders Leah Livingstone and Denis ‘Chopper’ O’Regan, the latter of whom was also MC.
County Mayor Seamus McGrath, congratulated the troop, saying it was a great outlet in his youth of which he and his brothers Michael (TD) and the late Sean were former members.
He welcomed the fact that it has female members and spoke about the ‘ferocious commitment, huge responsibility and selfless acts’ of the leaders who taught youngsters great skills for life and helped them mature in a positive way. He expressed the hope that it would one day have its own permanent base with outdoor space, but acknowledged Fr. Sean O’Sullivan PP and the parish for making the community centre and former boys school available.
Darran McMahon presented Cllr McGrath with a framed green and white neckerchief as a memento of the golden jubilee. Michael McGrath TD and local Cllrs Michael Frick Murphy and Marcia D’Alton also attended.
Scouting Ireland Southern province commissioner Derek Long paid tribute to the group and especially Denis ‘Chopper’ O’Regan, troop and county chairman and provincial secretary, who was presented with a silver merit award, one of the movement’s highest honours.
Congratulating all involved in the celebrations by ‘a troop full of doers and achievers’, Chief Scout in Ireland Christy McCann said a great debt was owed its founders, who bravely took the plunge in 1967 and whose legacy had been passed on to the current members. Christy concluded by telling the youngsters ‘Live your dream, enjoy your scouting’ and paid tribute to the leaders and parents for their support.
Darran McMahon presented a specially commissioned woggle made of silver and gold crafted by Cork jeweller Aidan Archer to the Chief Scout and thanked everyone associated with the celebration, especially fellow organising committee members: Denis O’Regan, Una O’Regan, Liam Cusack, Mary Wilkie and Eddy Higgins. Formalities concluded with the cutting of a cake by a founder member Fred Alcock and youngest beaver Tom Killeen, goody bags for the youngsters and more refreshments later in the GAA club.
New Members Welcome
The 41st Cork Passage West Scouts, which has around 100 members of all ages, always welcomes new faces and adult leaders and meets every Wednesday in Fr. Gerard Collins Community Centre. Enquiries to 087-0505331.