This page is about the history of the West Pennant Hills Scout group. Thankyou to Kevin for researching and sending the information and the graphics for this page.
1st West Pennant Hills
The 1st West Pennant Hills Scout Group was formed at a public meeting held at the West Pennant Hills Public School on 14th June 1962. The first Group Scout Master was A.W (Bill) Goulder. Frank Sasche became the first Scout Master and Harold Nickson the first Cub Master.
Scouts and Cubs held their first meetings in the old stables behind “Fairholme” at 470 Pennant Hills Road. The Group began a search for a permanent hall and a building fund was established in July of 1963. Bottle drives and car rallies were the order of the day to raise funds to equip the new troop and pack.
Hornsby Council granted the Group a lease in Campbell Park and fund raising became a major activity. A development application was submitted to Hornsby Council in December 1964 and builder's shed erected on the site. Building proceeded with help from 3rd West Pennant Hills who formed in early 1966. Records show that the meetings were taking place in the hall by early 1967.
Growth of the 1st and 3rd West Pennant Hills and the arrival of West Pennant Hills Girl Guides meant that the existing hall was struggling to cope. An addition was added in 1979 that more than doubled the size of the hall and provided patrol dens and a separate area for the Guides. Much to the relief of weary parents, the “Silverwater Sea Scouts” assisted with the construction and the extension was completed and in use by early 1980. Members of the Sea Scouts (actually periodic detainees from the Silverwater Correctional Centre) included master builders and other skilled tradesmen whose services were offered to community groups.
2nd West Pennant Hills
In November 1963 a meeting was held at West Pennant Hills Public School to discuss the formation of a new scout group. There were 60 boys interested in joining the Scout Movement but no room in existing groups. The first meeting of the group committee was held at the school in February 1964. Group colours were chosen and the Group Scout Master, Trevor Williams announced that Dick Farquar would be the Scout Master and Mrs Joan Clarke would be the Lady Cub Master.
In early 1964 Scout and Cub meetings began at Gumnut Hall on New Line Road, lent by the West Pennant Hills Progress Association on the condition that the lawns were mowed and grounds maintained. This was a temporary arrangement as the group hoped to have their own hall in 18 months to two years. In July of that year 1st West Pennant Hills obtained land in Campbell Park for a hall but 2nd decided that this would not do for them as both Scout troops met on a Friday night.
After a long search, land was finally obtained in West Pennant Hills Park off Castle Hill Road. A building fund grew with the help of rag drives and bottle drives and an anonymous 1000 pound donation (quite a sum in 1965!) but it wasn’t until December 1970 that building began and the group moved to their own premises in November 1971. The hall is still in use today by the West Pennant Hills Valley Scout Group.
3rd West Pennant Hills
In late 1965 1st West Pennant Hills had a very large Scout troop with a long waiting list and it was decided to split the Group into two and form 3rd West Pennant Hills. Building of the scout hall in Campbell Park was underway but only up to about floor level at this time. Scouts would meet on a Thursday night and and by March 1966 Cubs were meeting at the Methodist Hall on New Line Road. The first Cub Master was Richard Lynch and in June of 1967 the Group Scout Master was W.R Beattie.
West Pennant Hills Scout Group
By the late 1980's the baby boom was well and truly over and scouting numbers began to decline. The opening of a new group at Cherrybrook placed further pressure on youth membership numbers and leader resources in the West Pennant Hills area and it was decided to merge 1st, 2nd and 3rd West Pennant Hills into a single group. All three groups began meeting as one from the first week of the 3rd term in 1997. Initially Cubs and Scouts met at Campbell Park and the Venturers continued to meet at West Pennant Hills Park. Maintaining and cleaning two scout halls proved a challenge so all moved to Campbell Park and the West Pennant Hills Park hall was ceded to West Pennant Hills Valley Scout Group.