A mix of thanksgiving, recognition and celebration flooded the plenary hall of Bangabandhu International Conference Center ( BICC ), in Dhaka, Bangladesh as the 24th Asia-Pacific Regional Scout Conference came to a close on 29th November 2012.
In his final message to the participants and guests as Chairman of the Regional Scout Committee Chairman and Vice President of the Republic of Philippines, Hon. Jejomar C Binay quoted Robert F. Kennedy saying that “ few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.” Furthermore, in leaving the chairmanship, Binay said that the “moment of leaving fills me with great personal emotion and working with all of you has been a very fulfilling experience.”
He said that the Conference made him felt very special as he received two highest national Scout awards: Silver Elephant from Bangladesh Scouts, personally conferred by the Chief Scout and President of Bangladesh His Excellency President Zillur Rahman and the Silver World Award from the Boy Scouts of America.
He took the moment thanking the people in the Regional Scout Committee, the Chief Commissioners in the Asia-Pacific Region, friends and other supporters from other organizations, locally and internationally.
He also asked the plenary to offer a minute of prayer to the people who were caught by fire in a garment factory in Bangladesh, a few days ago.
He thanked the Regional Scout Committee members for their wisdom that made his leadership strong despite being the Vice-President of the Republic of the Philippines. “Our committee can claim that we have kept the zeal of the Asia-Pacific Region in WOSM,” Binay said.
Binay also personally thanked the Asia-Pacific Regional Office under the leadership of Regional Director Abdullah Rasheed for keeping the flame of working together. He said, “Thank you Rasheed for acceding to my call for you to continue your service in the Bureau for another three years since the Malaysia conference in 2009. While it pains our hearts to let go of you, we sincerely hope that you would not turn your back to service of manhood." Binay recognized Rasheed's untiring leadership unquestionable. "I have my personal regards in him,” Binay said.
In his concluding words, Binay especially thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for personally gracing the opening ceremony.
When it was time for Regional Director Abdullah Rasheed to speak, he personally thanked Mr Habibul Alam, Chairman of the Host Organizing Committee for the utmost efforts given for the whole Conference by Bangladesh Scouts under his command, making every day a special one.
Rasheed quoted Habibul Alam words when asked about the Conference during the preparatory stage, he said “We will try.” Rasheed said that those simple but very meaningful words of “We will try” turned out to be a series of surprises, making the conference and each day at the Conference highly professional, creative, hospitable giving everyone a special memory of Scouting experience and of Bangladesh.
On the lighter side of the conference, participants and guests enjoyed the Education Tour which mainly composed of an eight-hour train ride full of singing, dancing, laughters and rekindling and creating new friendship with other Scouts from another country. Bangladesh Scouts Rovers went around the train dancing and singing bringing in so much delight to the trip. The trip was meaningful allowing overseas participants and guests to see Bangladesh its true beauty in its culture and character and the whole community waited to welcome the Scout guests as they arrived in Srimangal, the tea capital of Bangladesh. Among the other surprises, the eight birthday celebrants whose birthdays fell during the conference and on behalf of their loved ones, all the conference participants sang happy birthday before the close of the conference.
As all participants return back to their homes, a pile of good Scouting stories, memories of the one of the most hospitable Scouting event in the recent past came to a close as their hearts cherish these moments and looking forward to meet in Korea for the 25th Asia Pacific Regional Scout Conference in 2015.
Image 1: © Bangladesh Scouts