History of the first ever Scout Patrol in Madagascar

The first ever malagasy Scout patrol was founded on April 9, 1922 (Palm Sunday) in Antaninarenina, under the guidance of the Reverend Jhon Fuller RADLEY, led by Michael Rajohnson.

- Albert Rakoto RATSIMAMANGA

Albert Rakoto RATSIMAMANGA tells the story of his scouting adventure:

During the holidays, Reverend Jhon Fuller RADLEY took us on a hike to Ramaniandro and even to the mountains of Ankaratra. Each one brought his respective provisions and everything that could be useful to him. On the road, we did some good deeds for the people in need and the sick.

We were introduced to Scouting

On the way, Rev. Radley told us the story of Baden Powell and the aims of scouting. His story was so exciting that we wanted to become Scouts too. Rajohnson, the eldest of us, was the most enthusiastic, and he looked for every way to make us all become Scouts. He had us make uniforms, following Reverend Radley's Scout uniform.

We prepared ourselves with secrecy and it was only on Palm Sunday in 1922 that we presented ourselves with our uniforms, in front of the Antaninarenina staircase going up to the Atsimon'Anjoma Anglican Church in Antaninarenina (the present building of the Paositra Malagasy), waiting for Rev. Radley to enter the Church.

We showed up with our Scout uniforms

Rajohnson, the eldest, was our patrol leader. He led us in the Boy Scout way as Reverend Radley and Lady Pryce Brown came. Rev. Radley was so surprised to see our demonstration that he insisted on shaking hands with each of us.

During the Easter week period, the news spread throughout Ambohimanoro High School. Rev. Radley was the principal of the school. One day, at the start of the new school year, he appeared in front of all the students and teachers, wearing his Scout uniform and Oxford student scarf, and addressed them:

        "Today, I would like to express my joy because Baden Powell's Scouting is born in this school, not because of me, but because of these 5 young boys, led by Rajohnson Michael" Reverend Jhon Fuller RADLEY

He also gave a brief explanation of Scouting, but what attracted the most attention from the crowd was his Scout uniform, which was very similar to the uniforms of the British and Canadian Army.

Our movement has grown

Since that day, a rumour has spread that "the students of Ambohimanoro have become soldiers in the US army".

Police then began investigating Rajohnson's mother in Ambodifilao about her son's status as a US soldier. She was unable to respond because she did not know anything about it.

The investigation then continued at the home of Razanatefy and Dr. Raharinosy, who were even summoned to the City Prefecture. "We are convinced that wearing a special uniform is not a crime. These clothes make them happy and we see no harm in their wearing them," they told the authorities.

Later, the city Administrator summoned the Reverend Radley. The Reverend Radley was fairly well known to the administration because of his interest in French culture and his rank as "Legion d'Honneur", which facilitated discussions and settled the issue.

Shortly afterwards, the French authorities officially recognized the existence of Scouting and Scout education in Madagascar.

Extract from the book " NY SKOTISMA SY NY TILY ETO MADAGASIKARA " written by Jean Lequerre Rajoelisolo.

tilyscout's picture
from Madagascar, 1 year ago




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