|History of the SEA SCOUTS Organization in Sri Lanka|
The nucleus of the SEA SCOUTS in Sri Lanka was laid in 1932, on June 15th with a sure and firm foundation, and that foundation has resulted in a strong edifice. The first and founder members were
Mr. W.F. Abeykoon,
Major C.G. Reeves,
Mr. P.B. Bandaranayake,
Mr. L. Nilgiriya,
Mr. G. Abeykoon,
Mr. S.F. Foenander,
Mr. I . Creswell,
Mr. B.D. Elsmore and
Mr. R. Babbidge
The last three were sons of British Army officers stationed in Colombo at that time. The first meeting was on the grounds of Christ Church, Gall Face, where Major C. G. Reeves’s father was Vicar. Their early meetings were on the first floor of Church tower, complete with bats and all.
In 1936 we negotiated with the Colonial lands Dept. under the jurisdiction of the Royal Engineers in Ceylon, and obtained the heavily overgrown stretch of land from the Army Married quarters to the bridge near elephant House. We toiled hard to get some sort of lawn and raised funds to put up our Headquarters building. Through the generosity of the late Mr. D. H. Marker, who gave us a cheque in memory of his wife, and our present building was constructed and declared open by Miss Joan Caldecott, later Mrs. J.W.H. O’Regan. The opening ceremony was on the eve of the 2nd, Great War when Europe was in turmoil, and the then Governor, Sir Andrew Caldecott, not to disappoint us, delegated his prerogative as Chief Scout to his daughter, who performed the duty of officially opening the building on 31st January. Prior to this we had the grounds ready and the lawn planted with Australian blue grass, constructed a road, and had our boundary fenced.
At that time Mr. C. Dymoke Green was District Commissioner, Colombo, later to be Asst. Chief Commissioner, and on retirement in the U.K, he was appointed Commonwealth Commissioner, and thereafter elected as Chairman of the World Committee of Scouting.
In later years we had a number of visiting Scouters from U.K. to help us, A large number of past Scouts received Commissioned rank in navy, and the Army, others went abroad, and made their mark, Several joined Police force and some of them have reached gazette rank. A good proportion became successful businessmen.
In 1934 Messrs R. A. Rutland, W.K. Crawford joined us as Scouters. They had just arrived here to join Mercantile establishments, and had been Scouts in U.K.. In same year S.A.F. Naidu and Douglas Goonewardena joined the ranks, to be Scouters later, and established themselves in their own sphere of work; the latter got his Master’s Certificate and the former become a company Director.
We grew in stature gradually and were successful in major Scout competitions; winning the coveted Mayors flag seven times in succession.
Mr. Shanthi Perera, an outstanding member of the group, rose to the position of asst. Scout Master, joined the Royal Air Force and qualified as a Jet plane pilot.
On the eve of his passing out he crashed over the English Channel. His father, who was a leading Scouter in the Group, Mr. B. A. Perera, and also served as Honorary. Secretary of our Incorporated Organization.