Monday, January 22, 2007

The origin of the Boy Scout Movement

Last night, while going through some old boxes, I found an old copy of a museum brochure about Mafikeng, a town where my family maintained a second home for years and where I attended university.

The brochure, titled The Place of Stones,gives a brief glimpse of the history of the town from 1885 – 1980.

Mafikeng, which is 298 km west of Johannesburg and 192 km from Phokeng is famous as a site for part of the Anglo-Boer war and the bitter siege that took place on 14 October 1899 until 17 May 1900.

It is also the town where the Boy Scout Movement was first conceived.

“It was during the siege that young boys, who had already been formed into a cadet corps were first used by the military for running messages and errands. They proved so useful that [Colonel] Baden-Powell [pictured left]conceived the idea of founding the Boy Scout Movement,” the brochure says.

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