Aussie businessman returns to celebrate Abercarn scouts' anniversary

South Wales Argus: Mike Pugh Australian ex scout  (2775668) Mike Pugh Australian ex scout (2775668)

AUSSIE businessman Mike Pugh quit an Australian midsummer for a chilly Gwent winter just to be with his old scout troop.

Abercarn-born Mike Pugh who owns engineering businesses in Perth, Western Australia, got news that the 1st Abercarn Scouts were celebrating their 85th birthday.

“I looked at my wife, Susan, and she looked back at me and we said the same thing without actually uttering a word,” said Mike, 61.

“From then on it was a dash from Perth to Dubai and on to London and motoring on to the old home in time for the meeting at the troop’s Abercarn HQ.

“I had no other reason to be in Britain, it was the allure of the old scout troop pure and simple.”

Mr Pugh who is married with two grown-up children left Abercarn in 1974 for New Zealand moving to Australia after 14 years to expand his engineering business.

“The businesses are doing well and I’m my own boss which means I can do things like this,” he said.

“I always tell anyone who asks, scouting and the 1st Abercarn in particular made me the man I am.”

“I learned the benefits of thinking things out and then sticking at them but above all the need for teamwork.

“Even now when I think of the camping and the camp fires and the adventures it brings a smile to my face.”

Abercarn scouts were among the first in Gwent to be formed only 20 years of the founding of the movement by Sir Robert Baden-Powell.

Civic dignitaries and senior scout leaders viewed an exhibition of scouting artefacts and applauded as cubs, scouts and young adults of the explorer scouts received awards.

One award to a patrol which had given first aid to a badly injured mountain walker was signed by Chief Scout Bear Grylls himself.

“It’s amazing that one of our old scouts should come all the way from Australia just so he could be with us tonight,” group scout leader Linda Terrell said.

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