The Beginning1



On his return to Johannesburg he formed a Scout Group. On advice by Rt.Hon, V.S. Srinivasa Sastri he brought the group to Durban, which had a large population of Indians.

Fourteen Principals of then Indian Schools introduced Scouting into their schools, under the banner of the powerful Natal Indian Teachers Society. They employed a white gentleman who had Scout training in London, to train the boys as scouts and teachers who volunteered as Scout Masters. Those Principals contributed financially to pay the Trainer.

The Beginning2

The late Mr H.S. Done, head master of Clairwood Boys School took the leading role. In 1934 the first scout camp was held in Pietermaritzburg.

In 1936 Lord Baden Powell was passing through Durban harbour to Kenya. The Indian Scout movement invited him to a Scout Rally held at Curries Fountain Sports Stadium. The grand scout display by the scouts and cubs excited Lord Baden Powell. The white scout association at that time did not recognize the Indian organization. In order to recognize all racial groups as part of the scout movement , Lord Baden Powell established four divisions under one Chief Scout for South Africa.


The first batch of Indian Scout Masters were trained in 1936 at the Lexden Campsite in Pietermaritzburg and officially Indian Scouting was recognized in South Africa. Indian Scouting spread throughout the country. Many scout rallies, jamborallies, outdoor activities, scout tours were programmed. Alongside the scouts, girl guide movement emerged. The youth had been exposed to the outdoor world. Parents, Institutions, Schools, Clubs in the Indian Community supported the movement. From 1963 Indian Scouts and Scout Masters participated in World Jamborees.

The Beginning3

Thus in this scenario, Surat Hindoo Scout Group was established. Mr T. Thumbadoo, principal of the Surat Hindoo School, caught that vision and launched the Troop in 1954.The early scout masters were teachers from the teaching staff namely :- Srinivasan Nagwan, D G Naidoo, H Mahabeer, S M Pillay and H Moodley.

In February 1963 under the sponsorship of Mr Jos A M Naidoo, then Principal of the School and with the support of the School Staff, the Troop was re-organized. Mr V K Naidoo became the Scout Master of the Troop and his assistants were Mr S Ramarakh and the late Mr S Appanna who were teachers at the School.

In May 1969 the Court of Honour organized a family evening. That night a Group Committee under the chairmanship of MR P D Kalidas was formed. In July 1969 a Cub Pack and a Venturer Commando were formed.

In 1978 the then 4 separate racial but equal scout associations in South Africa were combined into one unified body, the Boy Scouts of South Africa today known as South African Scout Association.

Surat Hindoo Scout Group has maintained a high standard of scouting over the years. The true spirit of scouting has contributed to our success. The Group Committee manned by young and old both male and female maintained a high standard of management. Their dedication and loyalty assisted the Group to reach national and international heights.

1967 - First Indian Troop to attend 2nd International Jamboree at Lourenco Marques (now Maputo)

1967  - Surat Hindoo Scout Group earned to be the best organized Scout Troop. Naeem Khan the Troop Leader was selected to be a member of the South African Scout contingent to attend the 12th World Jamboree in USA

1970 –  Mr Naeem Khan became the First Springbok Scout after 42 years of Indian Scouting

1970 – Troop toured Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe)

1971 - The first Indian Chief Scout Award was presented to a Scout in our Troop Mr Naeem Khan was the recipient.

1971 - Mr V K Naidoo was selected to attend the 13th World Jamboree hosted in Tokyo, Japan.

1975 – Mr. VK Naidoo, Mr. Mahendra Sookha and Mr. Madan Nathoo attended the 14th World Jamboree hosted in Norway

1979 – Mr. Manhar Gopal attended the 15th World Jamboree hosted in the United Kingdom

1999 – Mr. Sahil Patel attended the 19th World Jamboree hosted in Chile

The Beginning10 The Beginning9 The Beginning8 The Beginning7