After a long illness, our Assistant Group Scout Leader, John Hoskisson, very sadly passed away in September 2021.
John was a Wolf Cub and Scout in Birmingham and when he was 18, took on the roll of Assistant Scout Leader and then Scout Leader with the 95th Birmingham (Harborne, St Peters) Scout Group.
After 2 years working in Norway, John moved to Westhill in 1982 and after popping along to an AGM one evening, was to become a member of the Group for nearly 40 years.
Initially John took on the role of Assistant Scout Leader in the Keir Troop and along with Norman Hall, Doug Reid and Adrian Sims ran a large Troop of up to 40 Scouts. In 1989 John became District Commissioner for Gordon District but still kept a weekly youth involvement by attending Keir Troop meetings every week.
For 25 years, John was quartermaster at Westhill Scout Group and took great care of the equipment. When anyone returned equipment John would be checking – “Is it dry? – Have you cleaned it? – Is anything broken? “- and woe betide you if you returned something broken and just put it back on the shelf and didn’t say anything.
Norman and Adrian took Keir Troop to Brownsea Island in 1994. They travelled by train and ferry so needed light weight equipment and John very kindly lent them his own tent as part of their kit. One day, the wind rose, a pole came detached and poked straight through the side of John’s flysheet. Norman and Adrian wondered what they should do. They sent John a postcard saying, “Camp going well, Scouts having a good time and by the way your tent has a new window in it.“ On arrival back at Westhill Scout Headquarters you might think John would have said “Did you have a good camp?” Oh no, the first thing he said was “What happened – you have destroyed my tent – I know I shouldn’t have lent it to you!”
In 1996, John took on the roll of Group Scout Leader with Westhill Scout Group, a roll that he held for an amazing 17 years and looked after one of the biggest Scout Groups in the North East of Scotland. In 2012 John hosted a huge Group celebration event for one of “his Scouts” Gold Olympic medallist Tim Baillie.
After John stood down as Group Scout Leader he took on the role of Assistant Group Scout Leader and was very involved in looking after the Headquarters and the running of the Group as long as his health allowed. He was awarded a 50 year ‘Long Service Award.’
Adrian Sims said at John’s funeral; “the Scout Association’s strapline is – We prepare young people with skills for life. Preparing young people with skills is what John spent so much of his life doing. Our thoughts are very much with John’s wife Mary.”
A Scouting stalwart has been called home, after an exceptional life of service.