The Early Years
The 1st Subiaco Scout Group was founded in 1908 and was initially known as Troop 7. The troop was formed by a group of boys of similar ages and interests who had read articles by Robert Baden-Powell and who created the troop even before Baden-Powell had written his famous work “Scouting for Boys”.
The founding members were:
- Harry Wilson (later Colonel Wilson OBE)
- Mathew Price
- Jim Ryan
- Adrian Convey
- Athol Stirling
- Al Jorgonson
- Clive Ross
- Oliver Cadwallader
These boys along with a few others formed the first patrols known as Kangaroo and Wolf Patrols.
Soon after the two patrols were formed in Subiaco, a patrol was organised in Fremantle (by a boy named Roche) and another in Cottesloe (by the McKenzie brothers).
In 1910, Baden-Powell House in London, England, bestowed the name and identity of 1st Subiaco on the troop. According to the archives at BP House, 1st Subiaco is amongst the oldest 20 groups in the world that have been continuous in service since 1908.
In 2021, the 1st Subiaco Scout Group still meets on a Friday night to continue the spirit and principles of Scouting imparted by Sir Robert-Baden Powell.
The 1st Subiaco Scouts held their meetings in the Subiaco State School.
Later Scout meetings were held in a hall at the rear of the Presbyterian (or Congregational) Church on the corner of Bagot Rd and Axon St, although it is clear from some recollections that Scouts would sometimes meet in a room at the back of Mr Bennett’s leather goods shop in Rokeby Road. The shop no longer exists instead, the Subiaco Post Office now stands in its place.
The Troop finally found a permanent home in the current Scout Hall in Rokeby Road in September 1930. The hall was opened by the Governor, Sir Win Campion.
In 1969, it was decided to build a new Cub Lair, Leaders’ room and toilet block attached to the Scout Hall. The old Lair was a small wood and weatherboard building in the same location as the current Lair and boasted a fantastic mural of the Jungle Book story. The mural started at the door, went around the room and back to the door. All Cub tests were located on the walls and were incorporated within the mural. As Cubs passed each test, they moved around the room eventually making their way back to the door and on to Scouts. Unfortunately, the mural was lost when the old lair was demolished to make way for the new Lair which was opened on 31st May 1970 by Governor, Major General Sir Douglas Kendrew.
In 2016, a major redevelopment of the backyard was undertaken to provide two outdoor activity spaces, an outdoor kitchen and fire pits.
1st Subiaco has a strong connection to the community and a sense of place in Subiaco.
The Story of the Trek Cart
A Trek Cart is a small, light handcart, demountable for storage, with a single central shaft and large wheels. This useful vehicle was long desired and had to be worked and saved for.
In early 1917, the Scoutmaster, Mr A.E. Bennett, convinced the Troop Committee that a Trek Cart was an essential item of troop equipment and discussions on how to raise the funding required were had. In September 1917, the offer by committee member, Mr G Gow, to make the Trek Cart was accepted and the cart was completed and in use by the end of the month.
The Congregational Church in Bagot Road, in whose hall the Scouts met, was asked for permission to alter the Church shed to accommodate this valued acquisition.
The Trek Cart still survives today and is currently housed at the Subiaco Scout Hall in Rokeby Road. Its significance and connection to the Scouts of the past is respected and honoured and was last used in 2018 to celebrate the Scout Group’s 110th birthday.
The Trek Cart has now been replaced by modern trailers used to transport camp gear to locations further afield.
About Us / Camping and Hiking
The 1st Subiaco Scout Group pride themselves on their history of camping and hiking.
Camping for the troop in the 1920’s consisted of weekend camps in the bush at Dalkeith, Nedlands and Crawley Bay with the odd expedition to Canning Bridge.
In the late 1920’s, the Troop had two consecutive summer camps on Rottnest Island. The gear was hauled from Subiaco in the Trek Cart to the Rottnest Ferry landing at Fremantle. There, the Trek Cart was dismantled for the ocean leg of the trip, and reassembled and reloaded on the jetty at Rottnest, to be hauled to the camping area where the Troop set up camp.
Camping and Hiking continues to be an important part of 1st Subiaco Scout Group activities. Youth members learn many important skills to enjoy and appreciate the great outdoors from planning, navigation, camp cooking and many other transferable skills in a fun and supportive environment. These days, hikes may cover different stages of the Bibbulmun or Cape to Cape Tracks or be closer to home in Kings Park. Regular camps are held at various places around Perth and the South-West.
Over the years, more adventurous hikes for older Scouts, Venturers, Rovers and Leaders have included Bluff Knoll in WA, the highlands of Tasmania and the Southern Alps of New Zealand.
In January 2019, a group of Subiaco Venturers were fortunate to visit the International Scouting Centre in Kandersteg, Switzerland.
About Us / Leadership
Leaders have been the backbone of the 1st Subiaco Scout Group since its inception. Subiaco is blessed with many talented, enthusiastic, and dedicated leaders who have, and continue to, develop generations of capable youth. Many of our leaders have themselves been youth members of 1st Subiaco Scout Group and now pass on their knowledge to the latest generation of Scouts.
All leaders undergo training from Scouts WA.
Although many people have made the commitment and sacrificed time and effort to be a leader at 1st Subiaco Scout Group, there are some whose contribution to the Group, Scouts Australia and the community has been exemplary.
1st Subiaco acknowledge and honour the following individuals who have played a significant role within the Group’s 110-year history.
- Norman “Stalky” Hancock
- The best-known Scoutmaster in the early history of 1st Subiaco Scout Group was Norman Hancock known as “Stalky”.
- While many records of the earliest days of the group have been lost, the book of notes he made while on a Scout Training Camp in 1932 has been preserved, giving us a glimpse of scouting as it was almost a century ago. It also helps us to know about this man who was so dedicated to teaching boys.
- Stalky’s records include a brief history of the Subiaco Troop, although mainly based on his own memory of events and on what he had heard because, in his words, the records from 1908 to 1929 had been “lost by someone”.
- Mrs Joyce Page
- In 1936, a young woman by the name of Mrs Joyce Page, started as an Assistant Cub Leader with the 1st Subiaco Cub Pack. At the end of 1975, she retired having served the Group as Cub Leader for some 39 years of continuous service.
- During this time, more than 500 boys had the benefit of Mrs Page’s tutelage and supervision; an achievement made through her dedication and commitment to enriching the education and experiences of young boys and represents an extraordinarily generous contribution of her time and effort.
- Her influence with the Group and within the Scouting District was legendary. Mrs Page was very attuned to sizing up young boys who were potential troublemakers, or mischievous young souls, and she would commence an appropriate program of rehabilitation for these young individuals which would last the next three years or until you went to Scouts.
- A summary of achievements highlights that Mrs Page was:
- One of the longest serving Leaders, and Cub Leader in the Group’s history to date.
- An award winner of a British Empire Medal for her services to Scouting and the Community.
- The Group’s first Life Member.
- Awarded several Honours and Awards from Scouts Australia for her Service and Diligence to Scouting.
- In all of these awards and recognitions, Mrs Page was truly deserving.
Mrs Page passed away on the 15th July 2010 and is sorely missed, but her legacy lives on at the 1st Subiaco Scout Group through the people she influenced, some of whom are leaders in the Group today.