Boy Scouts Beyond The Seas
Another log I brought away with me was a present from one of the troops. It was a piece of the trunk of a tree about four feet long.
It did not look very interesting till one found that the upper side of it lifted off, and the log had been hollowed out to form a box, which was packed full of splendid apples – enough to last me all the way home!
One Melbourne Scout, Scout Allen, played the drum better than I have ever heard it played anywhere. He has won three gold medals for it and well deserves them.
At Madame Melba’s
The country round Melbourne is very hilly, wellwooded, and covered with pretty farms and fruit orchards. I felt as if I should like to stop there and never come back to work in the Boy Scouts’ office.
We motored over good roads through miles and miles of this beautiful country. And it was very good to feel that all the people we saw working in the fields, playing about the school houses; or looking out of cottage doors, were all our own blood and race – Britishers. And they were very enthusiastic ones at that, for somehow they had got wind of our coming (I was motoring with Sir John Fuller, the Governor of Victoria), and the Union Jack was flying (and not upside down as you so often see it in England) at almost every farm and cottage to greet His Excellency.
I suppose every Scout has heard of Madame Melba, the great singer. She is an Australian lady and took her name from Melbourne. And in the course of our drive we came to her beautiful little home.
It is a long, low house with a flat roof which forms a terrace shaded over with a trelliswork on which grape vines grow. Here she can sit and enjoy the view over park-like paddocks and forest- clad hills all round.
It was in these delightful surroundings we found the lady who has sung before emperors, and whose voice has charmed thousands in almost every city of the world. And what do you think she was doing?
She was just digging weeds in her garden and enjoying it. She is also fond of boys – especially Boy Scouts.
“Melba’s Own” Scouts
At the door of Madame Melba’s house, when we arrived, was drawn up a smart guard of honour of Boy Scouts, the 1st Camberwell (Melba’s Own) Troop. They had a number of King’s Scouts and All-Round Scouts, and a very smart-looking young drummer among them. In passing him I told him he would have to practise a lot if he wanted to beat Scout Allen of the Malvern (Melbourne) Troop, whom I had heard a day or two previously; but when the guard of honour marched away the Camberwell drummer rattled his sticks in a way that showed me he was not so very far behind Allen in that line.
The badge of this troop is a sprig of wattle, the Australian tree which has a pretty little, sweet- smelling, yellow flower.
The troop handed to me a flag embroidered with this emblem which they wanted me to take home and present to their brother Scouts of the 1st Camberwell Troop in London, a duty which I carried out with pleasure on my return.
On an Australian Farm I am awakened in the early dawn by the beautiful gobbling call of the Australian magpie outside