Czech Bronze Wolf Holder Jiří Navrátil has Gone Home

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by European Scout ... from Switzerland
Publication date: 18. Jan 2017

The European Scout Region of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) joins Scouts and Guides of Junák - český skaut, the National Scout Organisation of Czechia, and from around the world in remembering Czech Scouting’s Vice President Jiří Navrátil who has Gone Home earlier this week. He was 93 years old.

Widely known and well respected in his native country, Jiří Navrátil was the first Scout from the European post-communist countries receiving in 2002 the Bronze Wolf, which is the sole award given by WOSM in recognition of services to the Scout Movement.

The award recognised Jiří’s lifelong involvement in Scouting under exceptionally difficult circumstances: "The life of Jiří Navratil reflects the history of our nation and of Czech Scouting. Jiří was a model and an inspiration not just for our Scouts and Guides, but also for their Leaders, who were always surprised by his ability to naturally overcome the generation gap. He was a man of loyalty to democratic ideals and beliefs about the personal responsibility of each of us as part of the community we live in," explains Josef Výprachtický, Czech Scouting’s President.

Having joined a local group in 1937, Jiří and his friends were forced into clandestine Scouting in 1940, when the activities of the association were forbidden by the occupying Nazi regime. Reopened after the war, Scouting was once again closed down in 1948, this time by the communist regime. Jiří ended up in prison for more than ten years, having been sentenced for high treason in 1949.

Unbroken in his principles, he continued living the Scout values throughout the years and served on his association's National Board when Czech Scouting briefly existed between 1968 and 1970.

Following the Velvet Revolution in 1989, Jiří was one of the Scout Leaders restarting the Scout Movement in former Czechoslovakia for the third time and was later elected President of Junák - český skaut. During his mandate, he welcomed Scout and Guide Leaders from all over Europe to the 10th European Guide and Scout Conference hosted by his association in Prague in 1999.

Always interested in all matters Scouting, he remained an active, ever-encouraging and helpful Leader and was Vice-President until the end of his days.

Jiří will continue to be a source of inspiration for Scouts and Guides in his home country and around the world!

Mohl byste mi prosím sdělit naši soustrast Jiřího rodinou a přáteli!

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