PERCY SCOTT

 

Born in 1910, Percy Scott spent the first 10 years of his life in Kilkee where his father was the local pharmacist. He often recalled those endless happy, sunny days and remembered, with special affection, both Percy French and the old West Clare Railway. When the family moved to Dublin he went to the High School, then in Harcourt Street, and subsequently kept in touch with the school through the old boys' union.

He studied law at the Kings Inns and became, at the time, the youngest person in Ireland to be called to the Bar. While he did not practise as a barrister, he always attended the annual services held at the beginning of the law year until, for the first time, failing health prevented him from doing so last October.

For his entire working life he was secretary of the ARDP, later to be known as Protestant Aid, a charitable organisation which, among other things, founded and runs sheltered homes for the elderly. He was also involved with the Mendicity Institute, the Charitable Music Society and other organisations and he was a founder member of the Samaritans in Ireland.

While Percy Scott was a man of many interests he will probably be best remembered for his long association with the Scout movement, beginning as a boy member with the 32nd Dublin (Rathgar) Group and ending the connection as Honorary General Secretary of the Scout Association of Ireland. In Scout circles, he will be best remembered by generations of Scouts as Camp Warden in Powerscourt Demesne where, thanks to the generosity of the Powerscourt and Slazenger families, members had camping facilities which were the envy of the international movement. His firm control there, over a period spanning more than 50 years, ensured that this unique facility was properly respected and twice during that period, he rescued visiting climbers trapped on the cliff face of Powerscourt Waterfall and was awarded the Scouts Bronze Medal and Bar for his bravery.

Percy did not wear his religion on his sleeve but he was a faithful - member of the Church of Ireland and served on the Dublin Diocesan Synod for more than 50 years. On the occasion of his last attendance, he noted with some satisfaction that, of the eight senior clerical and lay officials who flanked the Archbishop, five were former Scouts.

It was apt that he and his beloved Bertha spent the last of their 48 years of married life in Brabazon Home, which is run by Protestant Aid. After she died, he seemed to continue as before, alert and active despite his advancing years, until his health finally began to fail him.

He died aged 85 on Christmas Day, after saying "Happy Christmas" to the nurses who looked after him so well. A few days later, there was a moving service in St Patrick's Church, Enniskerry, after which he was laid to rest in the adjoining churchyard, close to the tall trees - just across the road - of the Powerscourt Estate which he knew and loved so well.