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Former UNCP groundskeeper and Scout Master honored

By Erica Vaught
Asst. Around the Town Editor

Books, pictures, uniforms and a beautiful Indian headdress represented memories of former Boy Scout Master Walter J.

Pinchbeck on April 14. His picture hung on the wall in the hallway as if he was looking down with approval on his former scouts and the lives that had been paved for them.              

Troop 327 was the first Indian Boy Scout Troop.

April 14 was named Pembroke Boy Scout Reunion Day in honor of the late Pinchbeck, former Scout Master of Troop 327.  It also marked the 30-year anniversary of Pinchbeck’s death.

Larry D. Freeman, director of the Physical Plant Department of UNCP, welcomed a crowd of about 30 people to the Walter J. Pinchbeck Maintenance Building.            

This particular crowd was more of a family–a family that not only included  Pinchbeck’s widow, daughter, grandson and son, but also of people who came together from places as far as Raleigh to remember the former leader and to accept a Proclamation marking April 14 as Boy Scout Reunion Day.

UNCP Chancellor Allen C. Meadors, Mayor Milton R. Hunt and Committee Chair Mitchell Lowry welcomed everyone.            

The program also recognized the oldest living Eagle Scout, the oldest living Scout and the second oldest living Scout.

Hunt recalled when the original Boy Scout hut burned around the year 1975. He said that the community pulled together and rebuilt the hut. He said that a lot of the material was donated by local employers.            

Lowry gave special recognition to Bertha Pinchbeck, Walter Pinchbeck’s widow, and called her the Mother of Boy Scouting.  Mary Alice Teets, Pinchbeck’s daughter, gave her mother a quilt in honor of her part with the Boy Scouts. 

Pinchbeck said that her husband would have told everyone there that he did not deserve any of this. The former Scout Master was a humble man who believed in doing his duty for God, the country and the Scout law.            

Jesse Oxendine, 83, was recognized as the oldest living Eagle Scout.

“I’m so glad they recognized Mrs. Pinchbeck,” he said. He also thanked her for all she did in the scouts.            

“He [Pinchbeck] not only dedicated his time to us,” Oxendine continued,  “he dedicated his wife to us, too.”

Curt Locklear was recognized as the oldest living Scout.  “He [Pinchbeck] was a great man. He was great to me,” Locklear said. “He meant the world to me.”            

Second oldest living scout honor went to Monroe Lowry.  He said that throughout his life he has lived up to at least 99 percent if not 100 percent of the Scout laws.

Each Scout that was recognized said their lives had been better because of their time that was spent with Pinchbeck in the Boy Scouts.            

Dr. David E. Brooks, veterinarian and former Scout Master, gave the chronological history and named every Scout Master and assistants of Troop 327’s 70-year history. He said they put their time and efforts into making the troop and keeping its charter current.

Cynthia Hunt, paralegal for the Indian Law Unit of Legal Aid of North Carolina, said it is important to place the Boy Scout Hut onto the Register of Historic Places. According to Hunt, 2008 will meet the timeline requirements for registration.            

“The memories and history became an integral part of the application process,” Hunt explained.

She said that it was difficult to explain just the architecture of the building itself without speaking of the importance of its history to the Historical Society.            

The Boy Scout Hut is a very important part of the tribe’s history because it represented the first Indian Boy Scout Troop, Hunt said. 

She said that this information is used when speaking to Congress about the Lumbee tribe.            

Everyone enjoyed hamburgers and hotdogs. Lowry said that the leftover food went to Sacred Pathways.                         

Ted Daniel Locklear, a 7-year-old Cub Scout, was also there.  From the oldest Scout to the youngest, Pinchbeck will be remembered.         

Editor’s note: An article by Erica Vaught also appears in the April 2007 edition of Native Visions magazine.

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Updated: Thursday, May 10, 2007
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