1st Austinmer Scout Group celebrates 100th anniversary

Published Thu 16 Nov 2023

Memories were shared and achievements recognised at 1st Austinmer Scout Group’s 100th anniversary celebrations on the weekend.

The Group, which officially turns 100 today, 16 November, celebrated the event with a dinner at Mt Keira Scout Camp on Saturday.

Group Leader Stephen Turner, who has held the role since 1991, said the idea for a Scout Group at Austinmer came about in April of 1923, with the Group officially registered on 16 November 1923.

“The original Austinmer Troop sometimes used the original timber Surf Club Hall at Austinmer Beach, which would become a template for the new Scout hall to be built in Moore St in the future,” he said.

Funds for the hall were raised through donations – the greatest by Miss A E Allen – fundraising and partnership with Girl Guides.

Miss Allen was invited to lay the foundation stone in 1926, with the hall in use by 1927 and officially opened in 1928.

Mr Turner said more than 130 people attended the anniversary dinner.

“Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery was our guest of honour and presented with our Group scarf with friendship knot,” he said.

“Other dignitaries included Scouts NSW Chief Commissioner Lloyd Nurthen and Scouts Australia National Training Team representative Emma Watson, plus others from Region and District. 

“We had presentation of numerous awards, ranging from Silver Wattle, five, 20 and 30-year service awards, a Peak Award and a Rover Scout with his Stan Bales award.

“We also presented two of our Order of Austinmer Medals – one to our retiring Secretary and the other to a retiring Assistant Scout Leader.”

Mr Nurthen reflected on the Group’s longevity within the Austinmer community at the event.

“1st Austinmer is an institution not only in this community, but in the wider region,” he said.

“When I think about my own absolute favourite Scouting memories, it’s where I have learned more about myself through shared experiences.

“That’s what’s so exciting. That we can stand here together, today, with a shared appreciation for all the history and the incredible people who came before us to build Groups like this across Australia, and we can also look forward to the incredible opportunities we now have in front of us to take us into the next century.”

All are welcome to attend an Open Day at the Scout hall, 20 Moore St, Austinmer, from 10am to 2pm on Sunday, 19 November, to see memorabilia.


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