Sixth Newport (St. John’s) Scouts group have been learning all about democracy on visits to County Hall. The group visited the Council chamber and heard from Mace bearer Steve Hammond as part of their ‘local knowledge’ scouting activity badge.
The Isle of Wight Council mace is hallmarked ‘London 1696’. It is a base-metal of silver, dipped in a gilt of silver and gold. In a tradition dating back to Roman times, a mace was carried at the front of a procession of authority figures. This is why it enters the Council chamber in advance of Full Council meetings. Queen Elizabeth I decreed that the role of the mace was for ceremonial use.
Steve is the Council’s mace-bearer. He also took his scouting promise during the visit, a first for the council chamber. He said: “I’ve been involved with scouting since I was eight-years-old, having previously been a scout leader on the mainland.
“Scouting has supported me during difficult times in my life, so I am proud to now be scout leader for Sixth Newport (St. John’s). My leader name is ‘Mace’, so it was really nice to be able to share this part of my life with the scouts.”
In their efforts to learn more about people with roles within our community, the scouts also met the chairman of the council, Councillor George Cameron, who said: “Their enthusiasm for learning about local democracy and the role of the council in the community was really great to see.
“It was a pleasure to meet such an engaged group of young people, who I hope will be inspired to get involved in the Youth Council in the future.”