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Alec Spalding

Scout leader; Born August 9, 1923; Died October 2, 2007. ALEC Spalding, who has died of cancer aged 84, influenced the lives of hundreds of boys as a Scout leader for more than 50 years.

Scout leader; Born August 9, 1923; Died October 2, 2007. ALEC Spalding, who has died of cancer aged 84, influenced the lives of hundreds of boys as a Scout leader for more than 50 years.

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Many who remember him as Scout Leader and leader in charge of the 24th Glasgow (Bearsden) Scout Group will recall Friday troop meetings, oversees trips, camp fires (with Spalding doing his special "party piece" Three Blind Mice), mammoth jumble sales, working on the construction and maintenance of group headquarters and so on.

He attended Glasgow Academy and was an active Boy Scout in the 24th Glasgow (Bearsden) Scout Group, gaining his King Scout Badge in 1939. He studied agriculture at Glasgow University but later volunteered to join the Royal Navy during the latter part of the Second World War. He served in both the North Atlantic and the Pacific as a radar operator before being demobbed in 1946, when he and others returned to Bearsden and took up positions as leaders in the 24th.

Spalding completed his BSc and graduated in 1948, after which he was employed as an agricultural economist at the West of Scotland Agricultural College for six years and then, until he retired in 1981, he worked with Scottish Agricultural Industries.

His life was devoted to Scouting and he attended the world jamboree in France in 1947. During the period of home hospitality afterwards he discovered Kandersteg in Switzerland. He immediately recognised its potential and the first trip by the 24th to the International Scout Chalet in Kandersteg took place in 1949 with a party of 36 Scouts and leaders at a cost of £18 10s per head. The 24th since have been back to Kandersteg many times. However, not content with Kandersteg trips every two years, in the early 1980s Alec introduced other excursions, to North America, Iceland and Scandinavia. The emphasis was always on active outdoor activities.

Spalding's commitment to Scouting, not only at group level, but also at area and Scottish level was recognised by his being awarded the Silver Wolf which is the unrestricted gift of the Chief Scout for services of the most exceptional nature. In addition, Alec was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1996 for services to Scouting.

Tributes have come in from all over and, to quote one former member of the 24th: "What more can one say about a man who gave his life to Scouting? Baden-Powell would have been proud of a man who took his vision forward."

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