The Beginning 1908

James St Club Room 1908

An article published in the Sydney “Sunday Times” of 28 June 1908, concerning the Hero of Mafeking, Colonel Robert Baden-Powell and his youth movement, the Boy Scouts, created interest among the boys of Sydney Scout Patrols, led by boys sprang up. By the end of 1908, the newly formed “League of Boy Scouts” had eleven registered troops. 1st City, 1st Cleveland Street School, 1st Glebe, 1st Hurstville, 1st Leichhardt, 1st Mosman, 1st Neutral Bay, 1st Petersham, 1st Redfern, 1st Toongabbie and 1st Woollahra. (Paddington added in 1911)

The 1st Leichhardt Kangaroo Patrol was formed in August 1908, by some boys of the suburb, led by Alec McMillen aged about 16 years. He was the first Patrol Leader, the Headquarters at an old shed in James St., rented weekly for two shillings and sixpence.

In December 1908, J.X. Coutts one Sunday afternoon encountered a number of boys camping out in a bush hut of their own construction. With them was their first Scoutmaster Mr A.J. Biddles. This camp was at “Ramsey’s Bush” now the suburb of Haberfield.

1st Leichhardt Scouts Norton St. Club House
1st Leichhardt Scouts Norton St. Club House

At the end of 1908 the troop moved to a new club room in Norton St., rented at four shillings weekly. Only remaining there until January 1911.

Source: Records of James X Coutts, Scout Leader and District Commissioner, Leichhardt District and Records of 1st Leichhardt Scouts, from 1908 to 1938. Compiled by Allan Songberg, Regional Adviser, South Metropolitan Region.

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