SCOUTING in Bognor Regis is getting bigger and better than ever and amazing achievements have been celebrated at an annual event.
Donning posh frocks, smart shirts and even the odd dinner jacket, there was much to celebrate as Scouts, leaders and officials from across the area packed into the Bognor Regis and District Scout Council’s annual meeting.
There was standing room only, in the Jubilee Hall off Chalcraft Lane as a year of tremendous achievements was celebrated in style on June 11.
Alison McCaffrey, the district commissioner for Bognor Regis and district Scouts, better known as DC Bongo, said: “The time has come again to try to encapsulate the amazing amount of achievements that Bognor District Scouts have accomplished last year – no mean feat.”
DC Bongo said she was overwhelmed with what had happened over the year and pleased to have the chance to participate in the many different events the Scouts have become involved with. “Like I said at the St George’s Day celebration, when I stand up and look at all your faces staring back at me, I am proud and privileged to be part of it.”
Richard Beckett, the district’s chairman, agreed the year had been a positive one, with numbers swelling.
In his report he said: “Another busy year with the district moving forward and getting larger at a rate of knots we haven’t seen before, thanks in no small measure to our illustrious DC Bongo.
“You get worn out just trying to keep pace with her.”
As well as thanking DC Bongo, Mr Beckett also paid tribute to the many volunteers who give up their time and energy for the Scouts.
After the official business had been concluded, there was a short interval which included entertainment from some of the district’s Explorers who showcased their musical talents.
After the break, it was time for the Bongo Awards.
Mr Beckett said: “Hollywood has the Oscars, London has the Baftas, but we have the Bongos, and I know what I would rather win.”
As well as awards for best Scout and Explorer, the accolades are also designed to recognise the many other achievements of members of the Scouting movement.
DC Bongo said: “For me, this is an honour.
“There is so much that deserves to be rewarded and it is a privilege to be able to recognise even just a small number.”
Local dignitaries including the chairman of Arun District Council, Dougal Maconachie, Bognor Regis Town mayor Tony Gardiner and the chairman of Bersted Parish Council, Brian Knight, were just some of those called on to lend a hand.
After the nominations were read, the winner was revealed in true Hollywood style.
The awards for the best Beaver and Cub were unveiled earlier, as it was a school night.