Scouting stalwarts’ century of service

From left, Evelyn Torrance, Roseanne Allison and Ian Stewart. Picture: comp
From left, Evelyn Torrance, Roseanne Allison and Ian Stewart. Picture: comp
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A pair of dedicated Scout leaders have been presented with an award after racking up more than 100 years of service between them.

Evelyn Torrance and Ian Stewart assumed the chairs and screen in Broughton Primary School’s gym hall had been set up for a presentation telling parents about a forthcoming camp.

But instead they became the centre of attention when Deputy District Commissioner Roseanne Allison appeared to present them with certificates and long-service badges marking their exceptional achievement.

The leaders from 5th Leith Scouts – who have helped generations of youngsters gain confidence – were then entertained with some pre-recorded words of encouragement from founder Lord Baden-Powell and current Chief Scout Bear Grylls.

This was followed by a slideshow charting some of their many adventures and then some cake.

Evelyn has been a volunteer for 60 years and has taught grandfather, father and now son, all from the same family.

Ian, originally from Leith, has been in the movement for 44 years and now lives in Corstorphine,

The 70-year-old, who worked as a distributor for Tennent’s before he retired, is assistant Scout leader and acting group Scout leader of 5th Leith.

Ian, who works alongside Evelyn, joined the movement when he was nine years old at the suggestion of a school friend

He said: “I think it was somebody in my school who was a member and he said ‘Why don’t you come along?’, and I’m still a member long after he left the organisation.

“I have found it great. When I reaching the dizzying heights of assistant district commissioner for the Scouts in 1987, I was asked to take a party to an international camp in Austria. It was amazing and it opened my eyes to the world of Scouting.

“I think being a Scout makes you more understanding of people and situations. It not only teaches you camping skills and how to be more self-reliant, it also makes you think about others more.”

Ian and Evelyn’s group meets at the gym hall in Broughton Primary School and has around 60 members including Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.

Ian said it didn’t feel like he had been in the Scouts for than four decades because he had so much fun along the way.

He said: “I’m surprised it has been so long. You don’t really think about it. You just turn up every week because you enjoy it. I have made so many fantastic friends over the years and I must be doing something right because the kids keep coming back.”

Ian said that the Scouting movement had been given a huge boost by British adventurer, TV presenter and Chief Scout Bear Grylls.

He added that the transferable skills acquired through Scouting could be added to the CV and were appreciated by the general public.