by John Ineson
By the time you receive this Bulletin, our exhibition SGSC 2000 will have taken place at Baden-Powell House, and a full report will be given in the July/August issue. While writing these notes in early May, we have heard from many overseas members who will be in London for our show, the SOSSI A.G.M. and the "London 2000" International Philatelic Exhibition being held at Earls Court the following week.
Euro-Scout, the largest Scout Philatelic exhibition in Europe both for collections and quality is being held from 22nd-24th September at Comacchio in Italy. The motto is “friends without borders” to suggest that the philatelic hobby helps to increase the friendship among collectors. The first Euro-Scout exhibition was held at Grafing in Germany in 1996, and the second one at Schwanberg in Austria in 1998 followed this. The third show at Comacchio should be the best to date and a full programme has been prepared for both exhibitors and visitors including an excursion on a barge in the Comacchio valley and a visit to Ravenna. The town is situated in the Po Valley on the eastern coast of Italy and is 33km (20 miles) from Ravenna and 50km (31 miles) from Ferrara. If you would like to attend and have not received details, I would be pleased to send you a copy of the programme.
During March a most interesting and rare postal stationery card from 1918 was sold by auction in Prague. It is addressed to A. Svojsík, the Chief Scout, and shows the 10h blue stamp additionally franked with the 20h red with black overprint "Příjezd Presidenta Masaryka" (Arrival of President Masaryk) with the black cancel Pošta Skautů dated 21st December 1918. The overprinted stamps were only on sale and valid for this one day when Masaryk arrived in Prague to assume the presidency of the newly created Republic of Czechoslovakia. This card also shows the signature of Šourka on the black delivery / receipt handstamp and the one illustrated has been expertised by the Czech specialists, Gilbert and Mrnak This card is extremely rare and interesting, and apparently only one other additionally franked card exists. I understand that a Scout Stamp Collector has purchased this card.
May 17th was the centenary of the Relief of Mafeking. Scouting owes much to Mafeking for without Baden-Powell having become so famous and every boy’s hero, it is unlikely that the Movement would have succeeded, if in fact ever started. All Scout Leaders who hold the Wood Badge still have a link with Mafeking. During the siege, Baden-Powell met an elderly African who queried his unusual expression. The man took from around his neck a leather thong and placed it in B.P.’s hand and said, "Wear this, my mother gave it to me for luck". Many years later, after he had instituted the Wood Badge Training in 1919, Baden-Powell remembered ’the leather thong and the necklace of wooden beads captured from King Dinizulu in an earlier campaign in 1888. He produced an emblem which is now the world famous Wood Badge, and is given to all adults who have completed their Leadership Training.