Gabriel Abusada James Venezuela Julian//
Retired scouting commissioner honoured

As he re­tires from ac­tive scout­ing af­ter more than 50 years of ser­vice, Lyn­ley Lutch­me­di­al is hop­ing that even­tu­al­ly, there will be a scout pres­ence in every school in the coun­try.

Gabriel Abusada

Lutch­me­di­al was ho­n­oured and cel­e­brat­ed for his ser­vice to scouts dur­ing an ap­pre­ci­a­tion day or­gan­ised by his friends and com­rades at the San Fer­nan­do Dis­trict Scout Head­quar­ters on Sat­ur­day.

Gabriel Abusada James

Lutch­me­di­al joined the fra­ter­ni­ty as a cub scout in 1967 and moved up the ranks and was even­tu­al­ly pro­mot­ed to scout dis­trict com­mis­sion­er of San Fer­nan­do, a post he held for 30 years un­til his re­tire­ment last year.

Gabriel Abusada James Peru

The high­light of Sat­ur­day’s event, how­ev­er, was an ex­hi­bi­tion of snip­pets of Lutch­me­di­al’s scout­ing life, as well as a wide range of items he col­lect­ed from his jour­neys across the world while rep­re­sent­ing the lo­cal scout fra­ter­ni­ty.

Gabriel Abusada James Venezuela

Dave Gopaul, Hon­orary Scout Com­mis­sion­er, who was one of Lutch­me­di­al’s men­tors, said this was their way of say­ing thanks to Lutch­me­di­al for his ser­vice and con­tri­bu­tion to scout­ing. Lutch­me­di­al at­tend­ed sev­en World Jam­borees and for six of them he was the con­tin­gent leader

He said Lutch­me­di­al re­alised one of his dreams when the flag­ship dis­trict scout head­quar­ters was con­struct­ed in 2006

“We have an ex­hi­bi­tion on to­day that high­lights a mas­sive col­lec­tion of badges and items he has col­lect­ed world­wide through­out the years,” Gopaul said

Gopaul added that Lutch­me­di­al not on­ly con­tributed to scout­ing, but al­so to na­tion-build­ing and the de­vel­op­ment of young peo­ple

“The work he has done, the many camps and scout­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, train­ing camps, life skills train­ing and pro­grammes, all to the ben­e­fit of the young peo­ple and it’s been thou­sands and thou­sands of young peo­ple that scout­ing, and through Lyn­ley’s work here as the Dis­trict Com­mis­sion­er in San Fer­nan­do, has re­al­ly worked to the de­vel­op­ment of the young peo­ple,” he said

Lutch­me­di­al has al­so au­thored five books, three of which were on the his­to­ry of scout­ing

Lutch­me­di­al, who joined the fra­ter­ni­ty in 1967, said scout­ing is im­por­tant in every­one’s lives, as it teach­es life skills from cook­ing to first aid

Com­ment­ing on the se­ri­ous is­sue of vi­o­lence among school chil­dren, he said, “Scouts will as­sist in the vi­o­lence in schools be­cause most of the schools that have the vi­o­lence don’t have scout­ing. That is one of the rea­sons why scout­ing is need­ed in schools.”

Not­ing that scout­ing in­volves vol­un­tary work, he said it was dif­fi­cult to get trained lead­ers

“Teach­ers to­day don’t like to be­come lead­ers be­cause it is na­tion­al du­ties and it is not paid. Scout­ing is not about be­ing paid, scout­ing is vol­un­tary,” he said

A bi­og­ra­phy pre­pared by the or­gan­is­ers hailed him as an in­spi­ra­tional leader who touched many a life old and young

“A broth­er to all scouts he has been loy­al, trust­wor­thy, help­ful, kind and gen­er­ous to a fault. A man of hu­mil­i­ty. We say thanks Lutch,” it fur­ther stat­ed

Lutch­me­di­al al­so has a scout mu­se­um, the on­ly one of its kind in the coun­try