In early September 1909, soon after the foundation of the Boy Scout Movement by Baden-Powell in England, Major Chuck of the New South Wales Forces, and Scout Master for the Tamworth District, came to Manilla Public School to swear in the 1st Manilla Boy Scout Troop. Before enrolment, the boys received an earnest lecture on the qualifications and duties of scouts. He laid down three great essentials; reverence to God, duty to King and Empire and respect to parents.
1st Manilla Boy Scout Troop with their rifles, pictured at the 'Entertainment Ground' [Manilla Showground] in 1909
Standing: Howard Coughlan; Bluey Clark; Billy Simington; Norman Chapman; Archie Veness; Mr. Henry Rudd (School Master); Bert Coulton; Estell Smith; Bob Grantham & Fred Trenerry.
Kneeling: Percy Bailey; ------; Ivan Maunder; Percy Watson; Frank Chapman; Austin Veness; ---Northcote; Alan Telfer. Photo: William Sly.
In following their duties in the 'three great essentials', boys would find that there was no room amongst them for swearing, smoking, irreverence, disobedience, grumbling, or "post polishing". Prospective members, having shown that they fully grasped and intended to carry out the three principles, were then sworn in, in front of the Union Jack. 16 signed up on the day with 7 to follow. School Master Mr Rudd, was appointed local Scout Master; Arch. Veness and Percy Bailey, Patrol Leaders. As juvenile soldiers, the Troop underwent 3 months probation.
They were all to understand that this was no new game, but that the main principle of Scouting was to learn as boys, what they would most likely be called upon to do as men, with the enemy in front of them.
HISTORY of MANILLA N.S.W.