The Gordon Park Crew, Matopos, Zimbabwe


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Connolly Lodge
Laying the Conolly Lodge Foundation Stone
Miss Con
Miss Con - compiled the GP Book
Crew Investiture
Crew Investiture
If you have any photos - do email them in - thanks

The Gordon Park Crew

wildboar "The GP Rover Crew (a service crew) was started by Skipper Knapman in the 50's, early members being Bob Talbot, Richard Morley and Ronnie Williams. Later Mike George, me (Gordon Caw in 1959), George Gibson, John Stakesby-Lewis, Gert Hoppe, and Bill Hill, who arrived in Byo in the 50's from the UK - he was a great cook! I was a member of the Crew for several years with Skip as Rover Leader - Bob Talbot and Bill Hill were my sponsors. During my time we built The Leask and opened up The Bowl, including sinking the well and establishing the water system. Other projects included the construction of the Chapel etc. - Gordon Caw
Gordon also mentioned that the Rovers were 18yrs and older - with no upper age limit. There were also rover crews in at least the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Byo Troops, and I'm sure they formed the first GP "crews" - most ceased, probably in the 1950's,but when the RAF set up the flying training depot at Heany during WW2 and up to circa 1954, a Rover crew was set up there (17th Byo, Heany) and many helped at GP. I knew many of them, especially "Minto" Nuttall who had a wonderful mustache!

Camp Warden Skipper Knapman 1950's-??
  GP Rover Crew - Ossie Connolly
  GP Rover Crew - Bob Talbot
  GP Rover Crew - Richard Morley 196..
  GP Rover Crew - Ronnie Williams
  Camp Warden Mike George 19??-77
  GP Rover Crew - Gordon Caw 1959
  GP Rover Crew - George Gibson
  GP Rover Crew - John Stakesby-Lewis
  GP Rover Crew - Gert Hoppe
  GP Rover Crew - Bill Hill
Camp Warden Norman Scott 1977-..
Assistant Camp Commissioner Jack Carlisle 1978-81
Mike Brown 197..
Rob Hofmeyer 197..
Ian Stone 197..
Mark Fulton 197..
Brett Fulton 197..
Hylton Garriock 197..
Neil Palmer Jones 197..
Keith Savin 197..
Vaughn Brown 197..
Alan Savin 197..
Robert Forbes 197..
Peter Hartley 197..
Stan Wilson 197..
Simon Miller Cranko 197..
Craig Yeatman 197..
Andy Blundell 197..
Glen Crisp 197..
Vaughn Davies 197..
Havlock Mcneilage 197..
Graham Williams 197..
Graham Ross 197..
Barry Knight 197..
Luke Moloney 197..
Grant Dickinson 198..
Leon Wuyts 14/5/2006
Christopher Mackenzie Aug 2009

And who else?? and when?? and need a lota photos in 'ere...

Salaried groundsmen: William Ndhlovu, Adam Moyo

Hall of Fame... Records

198.. During a "Rolling Stone Challenge" Simon Miller-Cranko age 14 ran, up Shumbashaba in 15 minutes 17 seconds (or 17 minutes 15 seconds?), from the base - the granite spur that almost meets the tar road as it turns the corner to head down into the Mtjelelie Valley - to the top. Mark Fulton (Haas) who was captain of the Hamilton First Rugby team, came in second.

198.. Dennis Cunninham must have set the fastest drive from Gordon Park to the 8th Hall Bulawayo in his little grey Mazda truck in 10 minutes flat! I'm not sure if it was a 'Mercy' drive taking someone to hospital - perhaps someone who was also on the truck can remember? (Im still quivering!)

The fastest abseil down GP Rock... was either Savage or Brett... or could have been Haas in 3 seconds... or was it 7 seconds?? (the owner of this record will have to claim it!): 2/4/08 By the way the record that I remember for abseiling GP rock was 7 sec's. I did do it in that time once, but it was with only our scout group (7th/20th Famona) so was not recorded. I only managed it once (around 1978) and after several other attemps could never redo it! Ian Saunders.

People who have abseiled Tortoise:-
Vaughn & Crispie (once tried abseiling it upside down! The twits stood on the top of the square edge of the rock, and just like the "pro's", jumped out and down the side... only, they missed judged it, & instead of their feet bouncing against the rock and them going down normally... well, all we heard was this kackling of laughter & saw these 4 legs protruding up from the top edge & they were lying upside down against the rock face without saftey ropes & nothing but a few hundred feet overhang drop below them!!!)
Dafydd Jones, Bruce Fletcher, Len Taylor, Gary De Jager
GP Crew - 21 years on
GP Crew - 21 years on

1924 Skipper Jack Knapman was second-in-command of the first Rhodesian contingent to go overseas to a Jamboree, the Empire Jamboree at Wembley.
led the Coronation Contingent to London in 1937
In 1924-1946 he also took over the 1st Matabeleland Group (now the 1st Bulawayo),
Bulawayo Scout Shop in 1934, and built part of the present building in 1939.
Medal of Merit in 1929 and the Silver Wolf in 1936.
Cyril Shaw, who later became Scoutmaster of the 14th Bulawayo Troop

16th February, 1936, GP camp was formally declared open by Colonel Granville Walton Imperial Headquarters Commissioner for Overseas Scouts
Some weeks later Lord Baden Powell himself visited the site and, in his book "African Adventures", records his impressions as follows:-
"In the midst of this wild country, with its baboons and leopards and its vision of past battles fought among those kopjes, I was suddenly faced with a signboard pointing to 'Gordon Park, the Training Ground of the Boy Scoutsí Association'. Here, the wildest among the many jungle Gilwells that I have seen in different parts of the world, was a truly lovely backwood camping ground."

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