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Fond farewell to a respected friend and leader

It is with much sadness that we must inform you of the passing of one of the group's leadership team. Stuart Rowland, assistant Scout leader, passed away on the morning of Saturday 18th July 2015 aged just 45.

Like many group leaders, Stuart’s affiliation to the scouting movement began when he opted to get involved to help keep his son’s Thumper Beaver colony open.

Known as Puffin and alongside Christopher Holliss "Otter", Leida Smith "Wolverine", & David Kelly "Lynx", Stuart quickly adapted and grew as a Beaver leader, ably handling 24 sometimes rowdy Beavers with his larger than life presence and on the odd occasion ear piecing whistle.

Stuart quickly become an integral member of Thumper Beaver colony, rarely missing a meeting and insisting on coming in on days when others would have taken a sick day, such was his enjoyment and commitment to both his son and to every other child within the colony.

As was Stuart's nature he again stepped up to yet another challenge set him by the group's former GSL "Mrs Niki Dunn" asking if he would join the newly formed Wolf Cub pack leadership team and to become it's Akela alongside Marie Dell & Louise Keys. Once again he excelled in his role, running meetings and coping with every day section challenges such as managing cover as leaders moved on. Stuart formed a good friendship and working relationship with John Drake, the groups Scout leader, who offered to help the running of Cubs for a short time.

This friendship has only grown since moving to become assistant scout leader alongside John Drake, Karen Drake and Matthew Young, where Stuart once again established himself as a committed member of the section’s leadership team.

Stuart's funeral service that was held on Wednesday 5th August at West Herts Crematorium, followed by a wake at the Noke Hotel.

The funeral was very well attended, with standing room only in the crematorium. In memory of Stuart’s colourful character the family requested no black for the service. It was an emotional and poignant day with Stuart’s love of film and music reflected as his casket entered to the theme of Star Wars, and left to the tune of his favourite band, Madness. Emotional speeches were delivered by his son Sam, brother-in-law and father-in-law.

The group was represented by a number of 1st Park Street leadership team including Christopher Holliss, Leida Smith, Niki Dunn, John and Karen Drake.

Stuart’s son will be running a 10k later this month in memory of his father and in aid of the British Heart Foundation. Please see Sam’s message and appeal below.

On Sunday 27 September 2015 I am running with my Uncle Richard and my Cousin Anthony. We are ‘Team Stew’. I will run in the 2.6km event, Richard and Anthony will be running the 10km.

Obviously, this run for us will be tinged with sadness following our recent, sudden loss of my Daddy Stewart ( Richard's brother in law and Anthony's uncle) aged just 45.

We will be running in his memory and would like all sponsorship to go to the British Heart Foundation.

If you feel you would like to donate you can do so by clicking on the link:

Thank you very much for your kind support

Sam, Richard and Anthony

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