Special reunion for Scout group
IT MIGHT have been 45 years since this Scout troupe promised to “do their best” — but it was like they had never been apart.
The 2nd 5th Farnworth Scout Group was reunited with ex-leader Frank Whitehead, aged 84, at The Whites Hotel in Middlebrook.
The group, which used to meet at Plodder Lane Methodist Church, disbanded when Mr Whitehead left the UK with wife Margaret in 1968.
He moved to Sydney and currently lives in New South Wales — the last time he had visited the UK was 1993.
Mr Whitehead said: “It’s been terrific. I feel so happy — I didn’t think there’d be so many here.
“When I see how many of them have shown up it brings me so much joy.”
Since moving to Australia, Mr Whitehead has had two children and one granddaughter. His wife Margaret has passed away.
Mr Whitehead’s brother Raymond, who was part of the Scout group and used to live with Frank in Plodder Lane, Farnworth, was also at the reunion.
Like his brother, Raymond no longer lives in Bolton, but in Berkshire.
He said: “It’s great looking round and seeing all these people again, it really is.
“I didn’t think I would see my brother back here again and I didn’t think that he’d see all of his comrades again.
“The fact that so many people have made the effort to turn up shows the huge regard that they hold Frank in as that pleases me as his brother.”
Dave Jones, aged 71, joined the group at age 14.
Mr Jones, who now lives in Bromley Cross, said: “Frank’s done a lot for us and this is our way of saying thank you. It’s great to see him here and looking well.
“With Frank, it was about much more than the Scouting — it was about morals, and how you viewed people.”
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