Jim Laidlaw (received a 50 year pin in 1985)
More on the personal life of James Brown Laidlaw (Jim) later. For now, let’s just consider his amazing contribution to Scouting.
Jim became a Cub in 1917 (some reports say 1915), and went on to be a Scout. In 1923 he was awarded King’s Scout status.
Jim started as an adult Scouter and Leader in Kelowna, where he was the Assistant Scoutmaster of 1st Kelowna Troop from 1925 to 1929. He then served as Scoutmaster of this Troop from 1929 until 1935.
In 1946 he showed up in Penticton, and served on the Group Committee of 1st Penticton, where he soon became Committee Chair, serving in this capacity until 1955.
He then moved on the South Okanagan District level, serving as District Commissioner from 1955 to 1963.
Not yet finsihed with Scouting, he stepped back into a role of Scoutmaster, this time with 9th Penticton Troop, serving from 1963 to 1970.
In 1970 he once again stepped up to the District level, this time on the District Council, which was the executive arm of Scouting in the District. He served as Chair of the Council from 1977 to 1978.
Jim believed in the Scouting program, and ensured that he received the appropriate training. He received his ASM Warrant in 1925. Woodbadge Part III was achieved in 1932. He took a Preliminary for Scouting course in 1955 and again 1958. He received his Gilwell Beads in 1955. In 1957 and 1960 he attended District Commissioner training courses.
In 1959, Jim was Assistant Camp Chief for an International Camporee in Luploup, Washingtom. When the same event occurred in 1960 in Canada, he was Camp Chief at Faulder. In 1966 he was Assistant Scoutmaster o the South Okanagan Troop at the B.C./Yukon Jamboree, held in Penticton. In 1967 he was Scoutmaster of Troop 33 (B.C. Contingent) at the World Jamboree in Farragut State Park, Idaho.
Throughout his Scouting career, Jim was interested in history. Many of the Scouting archives in the City of Penticton Museum came from his files. In the 1960’s he did some research on the early history of Scouting in the District, without which much of the information would likely have been lost.
In all, Jim contributed 55 years as a volunteer to the Scouting program. A phenomenal achievement which had a lifelong impact on countless young men in the South Okanagan District.
Jim worked for Canadian Pacific Railway for 40 years. He was a contributing member of the Okanagan Historical Society and a member of the Geological and Lapidary Club. In Jim’s notice of Obituary in the OHS Annual Report, another longtime Scouter and community volunteer, Harley Hatfield, said of Jim: “He asked no special favours and sought no special awards”.
Assistant Scoutmaster, 1st Kelowna Troop: 1925 – 1929
Scoutmaster, 1st Kelowna Troop: 1929 – 1935
Assistant Scoutmaster, 1st Penticton Troop: 1942 – 1945
Group Committee, 1st Penticton Troop: 1946 – 1950
Group Chair, 1st Penticton Troop: 1950 – 1955
District Commissioner, Okanagan South: 1955 – 1963
Troop Scouter, 9th Penticton Troop: 1963 – 1970
Historian/Records Chair, 9th Penticton Troop: 1963 – 1970
Production “The Log”, OK South Dist Council: 1970 – 1977
Chair, Okanagan South District Council: 1977 – 1979
Historian/Research Chair, OK South District: 1977 – 1983
Honours and Awards (not complete)
Assistant Scoutmaster Warrant: 1925
10 year service medal: 1960
Certificate of Merit: 1964
40 service pin: 1978
50 year service pin: 1985
Woodbadge Part III 1932
Preliminary for Scouting: 1955
Gilwell Beads: 1958
District Commissioner’s Course: 1957
District Commissioner’s Course: 1960
Assistant Camp Chief, International Camporee, Luploup, Washington: 1939
Camp Chief, International Camporee, Faulder, BC: 1960
Assistant Scoutmaster, South Okanagan Troop, 1st BC/Yukon Jamboree 1966
Scoutmaster, Troop 33 (BC Contingent), World Jamboree, Idaho, USA: 1967