HISTORY OF THE 16TH COLOMBO CUB PACK
The 16th Colombo Cub Pack, where the following records attribute to, reveal how the Cub Pack has taken a pioneering role, since in inception in 1922, to produce all-rounded Cub Scouts who would go on to be profound Scouts later.
Initially, the Rev. J.Y. Barnabas, Headmaster of the Lower School, was a keen supporter of Scouting and he was very anxious that a Cub Pack be started for smaller boys. He himself looked after the Cubs in pre-war days, taking them on picnics, excursions and camps. At his request Mrs. D. Jansz, who had done Cub work earlier, started a Cub Pack in I950. The Cubs gave an item at the Scout Concert that year and did their share of “Chips for Jobs”. With the help of one or two members of the Lower school staff Mrs. Jansz did her work efficiently till she gave it up for reasons of health. The responsibility was then taken over by Miss N. Jayasuriya and Miss Unantenne who looked after the Pack the following year who were helped in the third term by S. Balasubramaniam, one of the Senior Scouts.
Mrs. J. Jacob and Miss A.C. Perera took over in 1952, and under their leadership the Pack increased in numbers and efficiency. Mr. N.B. Arputharaj was also a prominent figure who was involved in Cub Scouting in College from 1951-1957. When Miss Perera left, Mrs. Jacob had to give up owing to pressure of work, while a few others looked after the Pack for short periods till Mr. K.G. Leo de Silva qualified for his warrant as Cub Scouter and took full charge. He was assisted by Miss Olga de Alwis and Miss D. Abeywardene.
After Miss Olga De Alwis left, Mrs. D.D. Sri Murugan took over her responsibility. In 2000, both Mrs. D.D. Sri Murugan and Mrs. W. Wijewickrema were made the Teachers-in-Charge of Cub Scouting. Mrs. Sri Murugan is also the first lady Wood Badge holder in Scouting at S.T.C. From thereon, Cub Scouting emerged as a prominent activity for the students of the Lower School. Around the same time, the Colombo District Cub Scout Band was formed by the Cub Pack which was a great leap for Cub Scouting in the District. In the mean time, the present Cub Scout room was declared open in 2002, which was a donation by Mr. Anurath Abeyratne, a loyal parent of College. The Cubs also had the opportunity of taking part in the production of the official C.D. and song cassette for the 6th National Jamboree held in 2002.
In 2003, Mrs. W. Wijewickrema was appointed the Asst. District Commissioner of Cubs (Colombo), and the following period oversaw the College Cub Pack being majorly involved in more activities with the District. The first ever District Christmas Carols programme was organised by the Cub Pack in 2003, which still continues to this day. Furthermore the District Cub Scout and Scout Swimming Meet was restarted in 2004 and was organised by the 16th Colombo Scout Group. In 2005, 7 Cubs from College had the privilege of attending the 25th A.P.R. Jamboree held in Thailand, which was the first venture of the sort.
When referring to the social service aspect of the Cubs, it is worthy of note that the Annual Christmas Programme organised by the Cubs is organised in collaboration with the Deaf and Blind School in Ratmalana where the Cubs get involved in the donation of much needed items for them. The Pack also engages in contributing various provisions for orphanages, and other needy Scout Troops.
In the field of maintaining a high standard of commitment and dedication, the Cubs have proven the same by conquering the competitions organised for them by the District. The Cub Pack has been able to win all the competitions of the C.M.P. Wanigathunga Flag Competition held to reward the Best Cub Pack in the District, since its inception in 2007.
At present the Cub Pack consists of 6 Packs, with a total of more than 230 Cubs. The Pack also produces 30-40 Gold Star winners every year, which is quite remarkable. Hence in all aspects it could be seen how a systematic approach has paved way for considerable achievements which is also incorporated with developing the character of all the involved, in the past 90 years of Cub Scouting at S. Thomas’ College.
History of Scouting at STC – Compiled by: Sidath Gajanayaka