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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Pakistan Scouts Silver Jubilee Jamboree (November 11, 1973)

The form at of the stamp is vertical. A boy scout wearing a khaki uniform, green scarf and a green cap is shown on the loft side of the stamp facing a rising sun on the right side with his right hand pointing to the planet Mars appearing in the right hand corner against a blue sky studded with a few yellowish stars. The Pakistan Boy Scouts Association is celebrating its Silver Jubilee Jamboree on completion of 25 eventful years of its life after Independence.
Lest an impression be created that Scouting was introduced in this area only in 1947, we have to go back to 1910 when it was started in the Punjab Province, three years after the introduction of Scouting in England. The Provincial Headquarter was established near Walton, in the suburbs of Lahore. The summer training camp was also established at Ghora Gali in the Murree Hills.
The Moisson (France) World Scout Jamboree of 1947 was the first world jamboree in which the Boy Scouts of Pakistan participated. In fact a selected contingent of Boy Scouts of the Indian Sub-Continent had left for France long before the creation of Pakistan on 14.8.1947. On the 12th August, 1947, this contingent agreed to hoist the separate flags of Pakistan and India on the 14th and 13th August, 1947 at the Jamboree. The Muslim Scouts improvised the Pakistan Flag for the occasion. A bit of their dark green turban and a piece of white cloth taken from their shirt sufficed for this extemporized National Flag. The Pakistan Boy Scouts were thus introduced at this great Jamboree simultaneously with the creation of Pakistan. Mr. J. D. Shuja, a well-known Scouter, whose Open Troop at Moghalpura (Lahore) was noted for its discipline and efficiency, worked for the formation of the Pakistan Boy Scouts Association. On 22 December, 1947 Quaid-i-Azam himself took the Scout Promise before an assembly of the Scouts and Scouters, and his address on this historic occasion has continued to serve as a beacon light for the scouts movement.
The Pakistan Boy Scouts Association got its Affiliation Certificate from the Boy Scouts World Bureau in April, 1948.
There were altogether about 50,000 Scouts in Pakistan in 1948. Today the number exceeds 150,000. The quality of Scouting has also been steadily increasing. All this has been possible with the constant supply of trained Scouters. To begin with, there were three Provincial Training Centres in the Punjab, namely Walton, Ghora Gali and Takiya (Abbottabad). Later on, a Training Centre was established at Quetta. The Training Camps were held at Ziarat, Sargodha, Gujranwala, Multan, Rawalpindi, Karachi etc. Sea and Air Scouting has been started in Karachi. The Air Scouts have a fine Headquarters of their own. Both Sea and Air Scouting will provide an added attraction to the older boys in a Scout Troop. Scouting for the physically handicap-ped boys is a very beneficial extension of the activities of the Pakistan Boy Scouts Association. These boys feel isolated and their lives are generally dull and dreary. Scouting provides them with fun and fellowship. More than 500 handicapped boys are now regular Scouts. Their hearts are filled with joy when they camp Out with other Scouts.
A clan for the blind Scouts under a blind teacher, who is also their Scout Master, is being run by the Punjab Guild of Old Scouts. In the Punjab, the deaf children have been provided with hearing aids, through a generous donation of the Boy Scouts World Bureau to the Pakistan Boy Scouts Association. Some of the blind Scouts are now studying for the Master’s Degree and some have gone abroad for their studies. The first National Jamboree was held in 1952 at Karachi in which the partici-pants numbered 2000. Scouts from Ceylon, Philippines, etc. also participated. Its unique feature was the flying trips arranged free for the Campers.
The second National Jamboree was held at Chittagong in December, 1958, and was attended by 4000 Scouts. The third National Jamboree was held at Walton (Lahore) in 1960 with 6000 Campers. The fourth National Jamboree was held at Karachi in January 1967 and the fifth was held at Mochak, the new Training Centre of the East Pakistan Boy Scouts Association, in December, 1969.
“Jamboree-on-the-Air” is held in October every year. For this purpose, wireless sets have been installed at Amin House and Scout Centre, Lahore, with the Call signs, AP 2 NMK and AP 2 BS, respectively. The present one is the sixth National Jamboree being held at Islamabad from 11-11-1973 to 17-11-1973. The number of participants is expected to be 10,000. Some Scouts of Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, Ceylon, etc., are also likely to participate in this jamboree.
The Pakistan Boy Scouts Association has participated in various World and Regional Scout Events—Scouts Confer-ences, Jamborees, Moots, Indabas, etc.
Pakistan Boy Scouts Association brings out two periodicals, namely, the “Pak-Scout”, which was started in September 1948, and “Almustaid”, which is published in Urdu.