The late Anne Hill (Akela for 1st Camps Bay/Sea Point Scout Group From 1970 until November 2010) with Alex Jochheim our newly appointed Group Scouter for 1st Camps Bay/Sea Point Scout Group.
From Greg Lyons, DC ATLANTIC DISTRICT-Tribute to Anne Hill :- 1940 – 2010
Anne’s Scouting journey began at much the same time as my own. The only difference being that I was but an 8 year old pipsqueak in the Pack and Anne began her life of service, teaching the Brownies and Guides. In 1972, Anne became a Pack Helper at 1st Camps Bay, and the rest, as they say, is history. The foundation of what Anne was going to achieve within the Scout Movement, had now been laid.
Camps Bay realized the potential leadership qualities that Anne possessed and, by the following year, she was given the reigns as Pack Scouter and accepted the challenge with a passion and determination, second to none.
With Anne at the helm, Camps bay were consistently, one of the top performing Packs in both the District and the Area. When the Pack “STAR” grading system was introduced, Camps Bay were the only Pack to achieve Gold Star status every year. The only problem facing Camps Bay now, was where to put the stars – space on the flag was fast running out.
As in all packs, there is always a bit of friendly rivalry and a determination to succeed. To a young Cub or Scout, however, it was often rather frustrating, when you gave of your best, only to find that once again, Camps Bay had taken the honors. It got to the point where you found yourself saying “Oh no, not Camps Bay again” or “I don’t care who wins, as long as it’s not Camps Bay.”
It took a few years of being in a leadership role myself, for Anne and me to really bond and become good friends. I eventually came to realize that, beneath that steel exterior was a heart of gold, a heart filled with love, compassion and generosity. If you were in need, all you had to do was call and Anne would be there.
When one of our Packs was left leaderless, Anne took them under her wing, while, at the same time, tending to the needs of her own Pack and her family. When this Packs hall got sold from under them, Anne ran meetings from the local School hall and trained teachers to look after the Pack’s interests. Despite all Anne’s efforts, this arrangement terminated and Anne took the final, courageous step of incorporating the Pack into Camps Bay and combined the colors and name, in order for neither Group to lose their identity.
Together with Anne and our fellow Scouter’s, we worked on many projects, camps, hikes, outings, activities, etc. all, for the love of the children in our care and the passion we still feel for Scouting.
During this time, Scouting itself underwent a number of changes, as it adapted to the new democracy of the 90’s. The biggest challenge of this change, was the acceptance of girls into the movement. While most Scouter’s reacted with horror and skepticism at allowing girls into the “boy’s club” Anne grabbed the bull by the horns and very soon, had a fair number of girls going through the ranks. Under Anne’s guidance, they all achieved beyond expectations and are still giving the boys a run for their money.
Journalism became another of Anne’s passions, becoming editor of the Group magazine, the Glen Echo. During the magazines brief lifespan between the 70’s & 80’s, it garnered the H V Marsch Award for Scout Journalism, a record 3 times. Considering the fact that the Glen Echo competed with top quality magazines from all over the country, this was certainly no mean feat.
Anne earned the admiration and respect of her peers and garnered many service awards, including one of the highest awards available for a uniformed member of the movement, namely the ORDER of the SILVER PROTEA. The citation on this award read “ for distinguished services to Scouting as Editor, Commissioner and Pack Scouter for many years”
Anne taught us all to dig deeper and reach further, in order to achieve our own potential.
The eighth Scout Law says “ A Scout smiles and whistles under all difficulties”
During the last 6 – 8 months, no one showed more dedication and faith to those words than our dearly beloved friend. Anne faced down the most difficult challenge of her life with extreme courage, strength and determination.
It was indeed an honour and privilege to have had Anne on our Scouting team and we will continue to be inspired by her selfless dedication in the service of others.
Anne was a special and remarkable woman, who has enriched our lives and whom I am proud and honored to have called, my friend.
In our time honored, cubbing tradition, we say to you, Anne Hill,
Good Hunting AKELA !
Yours in Scouting,
Greg Lyons – District Commissioner