Two local Scout leaders have been honoured with the highest award possible in New Zealand Scouts.
Bill Charnock from Whanganui and Kevin Randles from Marton were awarded the Silver Tui by the deputy mayor of Whanganui, Hamish McDouall, and the mayor of Rangitikei, Andy Watson at a ceremony at Scoutlands, Lake Wiritoa, yesterday morning.
Leadership awards progress in four stages; the Silver Tui is the last stage. It's very rarely awarded.
"Prior to me and Kevin getting our awards, there hasn't been one awarded in the Whanganui district for many years," Mr Charnock said.
Mr Charnock and Mr Randles both became involved in Scouting in England, where they are from. Mr Charnock has been in Scouts for 47 years; Mr Randles for 46 years.
They have both held a variety of leadership positions within Scouts. Mr Randles is currently the leader of the Marton Scout Group. Mr Charnock is the zone leader for the Cubs [young Scouts] - a zone is a wider district area.
Mr Charnock said the Silver Tui was awarded for "significant continuous service".
"If you just sit there and don't do stuff, you won't get a Silver Tui. You have to be really involved."
Mr Charnock said he was extremely proud to receive the award.
"When I read the letter [informing him of the award] I admit there was a tear in my eye," he said.
"And to have two Silver Tui in the same zone at the same time is even more special."
In presenting the Silver Tui to Mr Randles, Mr Watson noted that the two men's combined service to Scouts was nearly a century.
"Scouts gives you a set of values, and a set of skills, and those never leave you," he said.
Awards for leadership roles are traditionally given to Scouts on Founder's Day - the Sunday closest to February 22, which is the birthday of the Scouts' founder, Lord Robert Baden-Powell.
Scouts from Whanganui, Rangitikei and Manawatu gathered at Scoutlands for a weekend of camping and fun activities to celebrate Founder's Day.