This week we are taking a look back in time to 1981 to highlight some of the events in that year.
In Cork, we are fortunate to have the Walter McGrath Scout Museum based at the Togher Scout Centre. The Museum houses amongst many artefacts, 24 volumes of photographs and newspaper cuttings from 1930 to 1987 collected and collated by the late Walter McGrath.
January 23rd 1981 saw the annual reunion of the 12th Cork (St. Patrick’s) and it is recorded that the guest of honour was Pat Keenan, Assistant City Manager.
He was a former distinguished scout of the troop and was also a former District Scoutmaster. He had the honour to present the Fr. Tom Farrell Plaque to the winning patrol in the troop’s inter-patrol competition. Mr. John Corbett presented the Moiselle Cup to the winners of the Patrol Corner Competition.
There was a historic gathering on the 5th March at the old St. Mary’s of the Rock School, now Blarney Street Community Centre, when John O'Donoghue, first Scoutmaster of the 8th Cork, unveiled a wall plaque, recalling that the 8th Cork was founded in that building exactly 50 years ago. Also in March John A Murphy, Diocesan Commissioner presented the new charter to establish the 71st Cork (Mayfield) to Ray Walsh, Unit Leader.
The Chief Scout’s Award was presented to Patrol Leader David Valentine of the 4th Cork Troop (Ss. Peter & Paul’s) by Chief Scout Joseph Lawlor on the 18th April. Star Scout
Awards were presented by John Costigan to P/L Harry Sheedy and P/L Adrian Heffernan and A/P/L Gerard O’Mahoney. The presentations held at the C.Y.M.S. Hall also marked John K.
Hurley’s 45 years service as Scoutmaster.
In May the annual Macaoimh Competitions (Cub Scouts) were held, the 46th Cork (Glanmire) were in first place in the North Area Competition with the 71st Cork (Upper Mayfield) in second place. The trophies were presented by Rt. Rev Mgr. J Bastible. In the South Area Competition, the 9th Cork (Bandon) swept the boards coming in first and third.
The trophies, in this case, were presented by Garry Fitzsimons, chairman of the South West area council. Both competitions were held at Kilcully campsite with over thirty teams taking part.
Fr Fergus Tuohy SMA former scout of the 21st Cork (Mayfield) was ordained on the 13th June 1981 by Most Rev. Richard Finn SMA, retired Bishop of Ibadan, Nigeria at St. Josephs
The Scout Field at Ballincollig Park was the setting for the golden jubilee of the 7th Cork Troop (South Parish). The local unit erected a special alter for an open-air mass attended by more than 300.
The Chief concelebrant was Rev. Anthony O’Connell O.S.M. along with Rev. J.F.McCarthy C.C. Turners Cross, Rev. Charles Ryan (Kiltegan Fathers, Nigeria).
The guest of honour was the Chief Scout Joseph Lawlor. The 7th Cork Troop were the first troop to win the Cork Diocesan Shield in 1936.
In September Scouting in Cork was saddened at the untimely death of popular Macaoimh Leader Christy Healy from Rathmore Park. He was an esteemed and devoted youth worker.
He was a former Unit Leader of St. Patrick’s and had strong links with the St. John Ambulance Brigade and other organisations and societies.
END OF AN ERA FOR DIOCESAN COUNCIL
The final meeting of the Cork Diocesan Council was held at the Imperial Hotel on Wednesday 16th September 1981. This followed a decision of the Diocesan Council to divide into three regions with effect from the 7th October.
The 15th November was a special day for the scouts of the Lough Parish with the opening of their new scout headquarters opening onto the grounds of the Lough Church. It was a most colourful occasion attended by a large and representative gathering of leaders, parents, clergy, friends and members of the Unit.
The official opening was performed by Walter McGrath, former Diocesan Commissioner. The building was completed mainly by voluntary labour of members under the supervision of E.D. Cahill, unit chairman.
The site was presented by Mr and Mrs D. Crowley, Bandon Road and this fact is now recorded by a plaque on the wall.
Mr McGrath was largely responsible for the re-establishment of Scouting within the parish 25 years previously with Canon Patrick Fullam and Michael Byrne who was warmly welcomed to the function.
Mr Cahill spoke in praise of their voluntary workers, especially Messrs Neil Crowley (a former S/M of the 20th Cork), John Costigan and Frank McKevitt.