BEATEN AT OUR OWN GAME
Thank you, Gödöllő. You have beaten us at our own game, while paying its the biggest compliment ever paid to the Boy Scout Movement anywhere in the world. We thought that our grand rally of last Wednesday was a climax at the very beginning of the Jamboree - how mistaken we were.
I had my suspicions in the morning when car and cart came into Gödöllő town packed with peasantry in festive array but what a sight when I ran down the slope to the grandstand just in time to see the band and flags a-flutter marching past the Chief Scout and your Regent in the stand.
The High Sheriff, Vitez Endre Laszlo looked a picture out of the past as he rode in on horseback accompanied by the Sheriffs of the district; the Council, in sombre black made a queer contrast.
To describe the procession would be a task beyond the power of pen. The ex-Soldiers, the Rifle Club in military khaki and green; the non-Scout youth in white; our Scout brothers from Sub-Camp X; the Guides and Brownies; the students; the gymnastic students; women students; school children: girls' associations in ancient festival costume and contrasting Paris modes pageantry at its finest to be eclipsed by the proud simplicity of what was to follow.
I am told that there were over 100.000 people from Gödöllő and the surrounding district in that march past the stands packed with applauding Scouts, but by far the most moving sight was when the peasantry and artisans went by. First the firemen, postmen and railway men (for whom we have so much to thank), and then the artisans in their neat everyday clothes, the farmers in their blue velvet trousers, black jackets and riding boots, with ears of corn in their black pork-pie hats one village with their coats on their arms, their full white blouses making a fine splash of white.
But to the ladies we must say that never have we seen them provide us with such a moving spectacle of glorious colour their costumes, some elaborate like those of the nobility of olden days, some in the gloriously embroidered peasant costumes, some in simple but equally colourful costumes the girls bearing flowers casting them at the feet of the honoured guests in the Royal box. Would that I could learn the story and the history behind each of those marvellous dresses; how many hours and days of patient toil have been spent on them how they have been carefully tended through the years.
And then at the end the whole crowd massed around the box, and as the Chief Scout stepped from the box to his car, pausing awhile with his cine camera to take a picture of the High Sheriff, those who had carried presents of the produce of the district came forward with their gifts.
Gödöllő for you there shall be an inscribed place in the history of Scouting for being the first district in the world to turn out in full force to pay your homage to the greatest Movement of youth for peace in the world. Will the humble happiness and feeling of responsibility for our own work which you have aroused in us be sufficient thanks?