Scouts celebrate Founders Day, urged to make Trinidad and Tobago better

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

South Central scouts renew their Sout promise during a church service at the Susmachar Presbyterian church, San Fernando followed by parade through the streets of San Fernando as part of their Founders Day celebrations on Sunday. – Photo by Lincoln Holder

South Central District scouts have been urged to use their God-given gifts to make TT and the world a better place.

“God has called all of us to love and serve. That is part of your scout promise. Our lives are defined by what we do, what we accomplished despite our personal hurts and disappointments that come our way,” Dr Rev Randall Sammah said.

He spoke at the Founder’s Day celebrations, which started with a service and award ceremony at the Susamachar Presbyterian Church in San Fernando on Sunday.

“Young scouts, cubs, older scouts and leaders, scouting brings out our gifts, our talents, our aptitude that God has blessed us with. Let us be willing to use what God has given us to make our nation and the world a better place.”

After the event, there was a procession in the streets.

Sammah said two of the most important days in people’s lives are the day they were born and the day they found out why.

He added that everyone has a purpose, notwithstanding where they find themselves or where God places them.

Lord Baden Powell, whose birthday was February 22, 1857, founded scouting in 1907. Every year, Founder’s Day is celebrated internationally with activities remembering the founder.

In Trinidad, scouting started in 1911.

The oldest group is Queen’s Royal College Sea Scout Troop, while the second oldest in the islands is the fifth Naparima Scout Group, founded in 1919 and sponsored by Susamachar Presbyterian Church.

TT has six districts.

National Scout Commissioner Mark John gave remarks saying scouts come together not only as members of the organisation but as friends bonded by a shared sense of purpose and adventure.

“From the youngest to the most senior scouts, each member contributes to the rich tapestry of experiences and memories that bind us together as one. As Lord Powell said, ‘The spirit is there in every boy; it has to be discovered and brought to light,” John said.

South Central scouts parade along Sutton street San Fernando as part of their Founders Day celebrations on Sunday. – Photo by Lincoln Holder

“It is this spirit of fellowship and unity that makes scouting truly indispensable in the lives of young people around the world.”

He expressed gratitude to the dedicated leaders, volunteers, parents, and supporters who have played an instrumental role in nurturing and sustaining the movement.

Girl Guides commissioner Darrel Leacock said, “We aspire to work with our brothers to carry out the founder message that was conceived so many years ago.”

District chairman Bashir Mohammed welcomed the scouts, adding that the South Central district is one of the most active in the country. He thanked the volunteers and supporters for their unwavering support of the movement.

San Fernando mayor Robert Parris gave remarks and reminisced about being a scout as a boy.

Parris said when he looked at the scouts, it brought him back to his childhood days. He believes that among the scouts could be a future minister, mayor or even prime minister.

He recalled being a scout alongside current Government ministers Brain Manning and Randall Mitchell.

He said as a leader and a politician, he is forced to make some difficult decisions.

“We have an issue with leadership in this country. The time has come for a leader to evolve among us,” Parris said.

He added that the major difference between a mayor and a councillor is he has to make tough decisions. By doing that, he has lost a lot of friends.

“That is ok. I will lose as many friends as I can, one for being honourable and two for telling the truth. We live in a society where the truth has become foreign to people. I am scared of lying. I prefer to tell the truth than a lie,” Parris said.

“I prefer to do what is right than to have friends. That is the definition of what leadership is and that is what TT needs. Stop trying to make popular decisions. San Fernando needs leadership right now. We have fallen, based on what I remember San Fernando to be.”

He cited the state of the Harris Promenade.

Parris recalled that all the nearby schools used to converge on the promenade and that no longer happens. The mayor, who is also the councillor for Pleasantville, said the solution is leadership and nothing else.

He said people could not walk up High Street a few months ago because of a bad decision. He was referring to street vending issues.

“Cars could not traverse properly. Why? Because of a bad decision. I have no problem admitting that I was a part of a council that supported a bad decision,” he said.

He vowed to continue making the right decisions.