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Hundreds gather for worldwide reunion

PUBLISHED: 07:21 13 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:55 03 March 2010

YOUNG exchanged stories with the old at a reunion marking the 6th Ipswich scout group's diamond jubilee year.

About 400 past and present scouts and leaders from as far afield as Canada enjoyed a celebratory church service and get-together in town.

YOUNG exchanged stories with the old at a reunion marking the 6th Ipswich scout group's diamond jubilee year.

About 400 past and present scouts and leaders from as far afield as Canada enjoyed a celebratory church service and get-together in town.

The historic occasion was the culmination of months tracking down ex-members from the past 60 years.

But hard work paid off at a commemorative service at St John's Church in Cauldwell Hall Road.

The Sunday service was followed by a reunion buffet in the church hall and a get-together in the scout hut on the corner of Britannia Road and Woodbridge Road.

Earlier this year beaver leader Julie Wilding appealed through the Evening Star to trace past members and received well over 500 responses, 61 of those in the first weekend.

"It is a wonderful turnout and full of emotion," she said.

"People have come here from all over Britain and all over the world. Some people hadn't met each other in 45 years. There is non stop nostalgia and the young ones have been really excited about it."

She said people from aged three years to 83 years attended the diamond jubilee celebrations where among the dignitaries was Ipswich Mayor Maureen Carrington-Brown.

Former scout leader Geoff Harvey, 65, flew all the way from Canada for the occasion.

He worked with the 6th Ipswich Scouts as a senior scout leader from 1957 to 63 before emigrating to Canada in 1963.

"The day was pure nostalgia," he said. "I wasn't going to come back because I am coming to Britain again later in the year for a wedding but my wife said I should go. I had received so many e-mails.

"Over the past week I have had diners and lunches and it has been wonderful to get together and hear all the stories.

"My fondest memories has to be of the week camps we went on. We travelled to the Lake District, South Wales and Somerset. I was very privileged to be with the group."

He flew over to England for two-weeks staying with his brother Russell Harvey, who is connected with the scouts in Barham.

Current scout leader Marc Barnes, 24, said: "It is so nice to see so many generations getting back together – young faces and mature. I hope in years to come the scouts meet up and exchange stories."

Brian Wilding, group scout leader, said: "We have been told many stories how life used to be at the 6th and how many lives have been affected in a positive way by people's association with scouting, either as boys, leaders or friends of our group.

"We have over 100 boys in the group at the moment many of them are sons of people who were themselves scouts at the 6th – even some grandsons."


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