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Boy Scouts Beyond The Seas

On the wharf was drawn up a guard of honour with the Chief Scout of New Zealand, Lieutenant- Colonel Cossgrove, V.D., waiting to receive me. It was my first sight of New Zealand Scouts, and a fine, clean-looking, well-set-up lot they looked; and dressed and looking exactly like their brother Scouts at the opposite side of the world.

The Boys of New Zealand

In the afternoon I attended a review of the Girl Scouts, who are, the same as our Girl Guides at home, and doing the same good work of learning first-aid and how to nurse sick and wounded people.

Then there was the parade of the Cadets and the Boy Scouts for inspection by His Excellency Lord Islington, the Governor-General of New Zealand.

In this country every boy has to be a Cadet. From twelve to fourteen, while at school, he is a “Junior Cadet” and wears a smart uniform with blue jersey and shorts with a Scottish cap.

After he leaves the secondary school, or becomes fourteen, he has to join the Senior Cadets. They are dressed in a different uniform of khaki; and when they have learnt musketry and drill they are transferred to the Territorial Army, which is very much like ours at home, only that every man in the country takes his turn of service in it.

In New Zealand they are far better prepared to defend their homes and their wives and children than we are in Britain, and no man shirks his duty like a good many do at home.

I shall not easily forget my first view of the New Zealand boys; it was a fine sight, for 3000 Cadets and 400 Boy Scouts were drawn up in a sort of natural arena in the park on the heights overlooking Auckland, and 10,000 spectators were on the surrounding slopes. With bands playing and Colours flying they made a brave show, and they seemed to be as good as they looked.

Winners of the King’s Flag

The Boy Scouts had a very large number of badges of efficiency, and one of the Auckland troops, the 1st Devonport, were the winners of the King’s Flag, having twenty-three King’s Scouts in their ranks.

That beats anything in England!

And they only won it after a close race with other troops; and the examination was a tough and strict one. Lord Islington presented the King’s Flag, with a very encouraging speech, to the winners.

I had afterwards the honour of pinning Silver Crosses on the breasts of three Auckland Scouts for different acts of gallantry in saving life at the risk of their own.

So you see the New Zealand Scouts are not behind others in their efficiency. And you should hear their “Haka,” that is the New Zealand edition of the “Eengonyama” salute.

A leader starts the chant, they all smack their thighs and stamp in time and shout their salutation in Maori words, all exactly together, and the effect is fine. Here are the instructions issued for doing it before me:

Haka-Leader: “E rangatira ia.” Scouts: “Kei to rahi atu ia. I to Taniwha, I to Taniwha, Hi, Hi. Ha.”

When the General reaches the point at which the official Scout reception takes place, the command “Staves down” will be given. A leader, or Assistant Scoutmaster, will give the signal

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