Our History

104 years of scouting




Scouting in Cessnock began in 1931 and was organised by

Mr. P.C. Reid , the manual arts & drawing teacher of Cessnock Technical College. While it was mooted that an earlier troop had existed no records were found or anyone associated with the movement.

A scout troop & cub pack were formed (1st Cessnock) with Mr. P. C. Reid as Group Scoutmaster, together with a Scout Master and Assistant Scoutmaster.

Mr. Reg Newton of East Cessnock could have been Scoutmaster, other Scouters have been Mr. John Austin & Mr. George Scobie.

Mr. Frank Evans & Mr. Fred Anderson were leaders of the Cub pack (Akele’s).

Some names associated with the group were Leo Redmond, Percy Onions, Frank Buns, Joe McGiloray, Elmo Caust, Alan Morris, Bill Murray, the Newton Brothers.

Soon after the formation of the scouting group the Girl Guide Group was formed by Mrs. B. Reid. This died not long after.

Several changes of meeting place occurred, a garage opposite Cessnock Railway Station, a shed at Morris the furniture removalists and later to the Ambulance Hall in Cumberland Street.

The Scouts & Cubs participated in rallies at Maitland, Kurri and elsewhere with some success, winning the District Flag on several occasions.

Comps were held at Wollombi ( near a cave where a bushranger (Yellow Belly) was alleged to have holed out.) Also at Congewai at the Crawfords farm, Merewether, Scout Haven at Richmond Main and elsewhere.

The troop with Mr. P.C. Reid were active in the early construction of Glenrock. Setting up camp sites and reconditioning the main building and erecting a hall. Many a time the froop hiked from the Glebe terminus over the hill, through the tunnel to Glenrock.

Mr. Reid later became District Scout Master and obtained from J. & A. Brown, Abermain & Seaham Collieries Ltd. permission to establish a District Camp at Richmond Vale. A hut was built , often vandalised and burnt out & camp sites established.

The 1st Kurri Kurri Group was established with Mr.

Jack Watson as Scoutmaster.

In 1935? Mr. Reid, son Percy Reid & Percy Onion rode pushbikes from Cessnock to the World Scout Jamboree at Frankston Victoria. Lord Baden Powell was present and a contingent from Maitland and Newcastle.

Percy Reid later became Cubmaster and Scoutmaster when meetings were held in the Ambulance Hall. He was followed by his brother Hector (Jim) following his marriage and enlistment in the Army,

Jim later joined the Air Force and was posted to Canada and Britain.

In 1937 Mr. Reid and Percy participated in a Wood Badge course at the Pennant Hills Training Centre. Mr. Reid as Scoutmaster, Mr. H. MacDonald Group Scout Master, Perce a Scout.

Other members of the troup have been Ron Olive, Elmo Coust, Jim Patrick, the Knott Brothers, Albert Hancock, Ron Higginbottom.

The Maitland District Scoutmaster before Mr. P.C. Reid was a Mr. Joe Garby and cub leader, a Miss Nancy D’Argeoval.

The 2nd Cessnock Scout Troup was also operational for some years under the leadership of Mr. Bert Hanley.

When we first came to Cessnock in 1930, Jim and I used to travel to Kearsley in a Hancocks bus to meetings of the 1st Kearsley Pack with Mr. Jim Wilkie as Akele. A photograph of the Pack was on the wall of the hotel. The Scout Troop was run by Mr. Reg Young.