Top award for scouting stalwart
A FORMER Great Yarmouth scouting leader has been awarded the prestigious Silver Acorn in recognition of his service to the movement.Mervyn Twaits, 71, chairman of the district executive committee, said he was utterly surprised to be presented with the award at a ceremony at the Holiday Inn, Norwich earlier this month, as part of the 2008 St George's Day List.
A FORMER Great Yarmouth scouting leader has been awarded the prestigious Silver Acorn in recognition of his service to the movement.
Mervyn Twaits, 71, chairman of the district executive committee, said he was utterly surprised to be presented with the award at a ceremony at the Holiday Inn, Norwich earlier this month, as part of the 2008 St George's Day List.
He said: “It was a case of why me? But I have to say I am honoured. I have been involved with the scouts for almost the entirety of my life joining my first troop at the age of eight.”
Mervyn joined the 67th Croydon cub scouts just as the second world war was ending. He later joined the Croydon-based Bulldog Patrol and in 1951 he was awarded the first class certificate as patrol leader.
He said: “I was eventually to take up a job as an operations engineer and it was this work that brought me to work at the power station in Norwich in the early 1960s.”
At the same time he also helped out with organising events for disabled scouts in the Norwich area.
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He said: “I took part in a Wood Badge course at Old Lakenham Hall while working with leader Tom Barnard. It was sometime later that I was asked by leader Bill Tompkins to organise things in the Bradwell area. Between 1969 and 1985 I was working at the old power station in Yarmouth as an operations engineer.
“In 1970 I was appointed as Bradwell rep to Yarmouth district executive chairman Jim Radmall and it was in 1972 that a number of us were involved in building the team that would eventually lead to the 1st Bradwell scouts.”
By 1980 Mervyn had also established the 1st Belton HQ and was appointed chairman of the Yarmouth executive.
His service to the scouts continued for the next two decades and he became chairman for the East Norfolk District Scout Council.
Mervyn has not forgotten old friends and in 2004 attended the 67th Croydon Scout Group 75th anniversary celebrations and is still seen regularly at parades in Yarmouth.
He has three grown up children and his two grandsons are members of the 2nd Gorleston group, keeping scouting in the family.