Mount Morgan "Blue" Boy Scouts.

The Governor of Queensland, Sir Leslie Orme Wilson resigned as Chief Scout of The Boy Scouts Association, Queensland Branch in 1942. Sir Leslie, an enthusiastic supporter of the Scouts, had been Chief Scout since 1932 but by the early 1940s his relations with The Boy Scouts Association were severely strained by its attempts to centralise the control of the Scout Movement.

The Boy Scouts Association encouraged its branches to seek control of the Scout Movement by obtaining statutory monopolies from the governments. This was the major purpose of the visits by its Overseas Commissioners Sir Alfred Pickford and Lt.Col. Granville Walton in the 1920s and 1930s and Baden-Powell's visits in 1931 and 1934. In 1934 some Scout Groups were incensed by changes to The Boy Scouts Association's Queensland branch constitution which removed elected local representatives from the State Council. In the same year The Boy Scouts Association insisted that the properties be registered in The Boy Scouts Association's name. Many Scout Groups resisted these efforts but The Boy Scouts Association used the circumstance of the war from 1939 to further centralise its control.

Sir Leslie knew Benjamin Gilmore Patterson of the Mount Morgan Scouts. Patterson had been in the militia with the Sydney University Scouts (now Sydney University Regiment) from 1900 to 1904. Patterson was a leader of the first Boy Scouts in Mount Morgan formed on 23 November 1908. In 1910 Patterson's Scouts registered as the lst Mount Morgan Company with the Boys' Brigade which had run Scouts since 1906. Later the Mount Morgan Scouts also affiliated with the League of Boy Scouts, Queensland which became the League of Baden-Powell Boy Scouts when it affiliated with the Baden-Powell Boy Scouts as The Boy Scouts Association was then known). The League merged with The Boy Scouts Association in 1926. The Mount Morgan Scouts continued their dual affiliation until 1927 when the Boys' Brigade discontinued its Scout scheme. Patterson had become a District Commissioner of The Boy Scouts Association and, in 1921, had been the second Queensland recipient of its highest award - the Silver Wolf. In 1924 his efforts with the Mount Morgan Scouts were praised in the Commonwealth Parliament. Despite the long association, in 1939 Patterson disaffiliated from The Boy Scouts Association over the increasing centralisation.

The Governor was aware of these problems and the Mount Morgan Scouts' disaffiliation. Despite his calls for reform and threats to resign as Chief Scout, The Boy Scouts Association did not back off from its centralisation.

The Mount Morgan Scouts continued independently until 1957. - two years after Pattersan's death. They maintained their Boys' Brigade (B.B.) heritage as the "Blue" Boy Scouts, wearing blue uniforms and using a modified Scout Promise containing the B.B. motto ."Sure and Stedfast".

© 1996 Research by Keith Young. Arctivist, Boys' Brigade Queensland & Robert Campbell, SCOUTS of AUSTRALIA

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