Gallery: Communities raise the flag to St George
PUBLISHED: 11:06 23 April 2012
HUNDREDS of proud youngsters marched through the heart of their communities yesterday to salute St George.
Scores of immaculately-dressed children – including Scouts, Guides, Cubs, Brownies, Rainbows and Beavers – all put their best foot forward to honour their movements’ patron saint ahead of St George’s Day today.
Many braved unpredictable and showery conditions to fly the flag for Guiding and Scouting as they marched through towns across the county. They all finished in churches – except the parade in Felixstowe, which used the Spa Pavilion Theatre – where they took part in services that reiterated the ethos of the movement and allowed the youngsters to renew their promises.
Keith Barber, district commissioner for Scouting in Bury St Edmunds, hailed the town’s march, which saw 750 youngsters parade from Abbey Gardens to St Mary’s Church and back again.
“It went very well,” he added. “We were worried about the weather but we survived it. We had a sharp shower about 2pm but nothing after that.
“St George is patron saint of England and Scouting and it’s our national day and they renew their promises. Promises are the focal point of Scouting and it’s a code to live by.”
While the weather failed to stop the march in Bury, it did put paid to the one planned for Southwold. Hilary Prior, district commissioner of Waveney Valley Scouts, said they decided to abandon a parade from Southwold Pier to Gun Hill because of the unsettled weather recently. Instead around 400 youngsters gathered for a service in St Edmund’s Church.
Meanwhile Mike Hansen, district commissioner for the Orwell District, said an impressive 850 children turned out to march from Felixstowe Leisure Centre to the Spa Pavilion Theatre.
“It went very well,” added Mr Hansen.
“It was a great attendance and everyone looked very smart.
“The children enjoyed it – it’s a big spectacle and it gets Scouting out into the community. People were coming up to me and saying they did not know there was so many Scouts in the area.
“Scouting gives children an outlook which they don’t get these days because of the cuts to youth services.”
Graham Parker, district commissioner for Wolsey, organised 400 children to march along The Cornhill to St Mary le Tower Church in Ipswich.
He said: “I’m delighted with the turnout – it’s great not to be the only one here.
“It’s one of the very few occasions in the year when we get together and the spectacle of walking through the town showing off what we do is great.”
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