A Short History of Waverley Valley Scout Group

Until the end of the Second World War, suburban development in the south-east of Melbourne was slow but by the mid-1960s the area had a significant youth population. 

There was little recreational activity available and Scouts and Guides seemed a likely way to provide such amenity. From the early 1960s moves had been made to establish Scout Groups, usually using the few civic halls that existed, or even barns and farm sheds which were a legacy of the previous land use.   

The then City of Waverley was willing to make sites available for Scout Halls – often on sites not likely to attract residential development, and at an annual peppercorn rental. It was also stipulated that all halls should house two Groups. 

In early 1962, 8th Waverley Group was registered and shortly after, the registration of 1st Waverley  provided an opportunity for the two Groups to consider building a Hall.  Land was allocated in Wills Avenue, Mount Waverley, opposite the already completed hall used by 4th and 11th Waverley Groups. 

The plans for the hall were drawn by Architect J. Ross Ingram, of Mt Waverley. The building officially opened on 27th November, 1965. The first Scout Leaders were Vic Sharp, 1st Waverley and Russell Payne – 8th Waverley.

The financing details for the building are no longer available. Most halls were the result of vast amounts of fund raising – every Group had a Ladies Auxiliary which worked hard. Donations were asked, often in materials rather than money, Sometimes Scout families added a third mortgage to home loans!  Working Bees saw building occur during weekends, often with the guidance of parents who were tradesmen

Groups usually began with a Scout Troop and then came a Cub Pack. Senior Scouts (now Venturer Section) and a Rover Crew would begin as needed. Our Venturer Section, has, for most of its time been shared by both Groups as has the  Alpha-Theta (Greek one and eight) Rover Crew. Girls began to be enrolled in Scouting from1975.  During 2009 the newly formed Waverley Valley Scout Group opened a Joey-Scout Mob with Samantha Vat and Laura McLean as Leaders. 

A Big change.

For many years the land opposite our hall, in Wills Avenue, was occupied by the Scout Group known as 4/11th Waverley. This Group comprised a Cub-Scout Pack, Scout Troop, Venturer Unit and Rover Crew –R. B. O’Neil Crew. (This Crew closed when the Group amalgamated to form Waverley Valley Scout Group)

During 2007 this hall began to develop severe cracks – more than seemed reasonable for changes in ground moisture due to weather changes, and expert help was consulted.  It was realised that the soil under the hall was unstable and it would be unlikely the problem could be remedied, as the foundations were becoming unstable and the cost of remediation would be unreasonable. The hall had to be abandoned and demolished. What to do with all the youth and Leaders presented as big problem.

The City of Monash realised that the site could be restored to become suitable as a residential site and  eventually marketed the site as such. Some of the proceeds from this sale were given to Scouting in recognition of the loss of amenity and we began to find an answer to a “home” for 4/11th Waverley, albeit with changes to Group names and where they could be housed. 8th Waverley agreed to be amalgamated with 1st Mt Waverley Scout Group in Orchard Street, Glen Waverley. 

An extension of the 1st/8th Group Hall, opposite the 4/11th site in Wills Avenue was agreed to house what would be a large number of Scouting people. Action needed to be prompt! 

Plans were drawn up by Arthur Andronas, pro-bono Scout Branch Architect and the winning tenderer was Rodney Grummitt. Building proceeded promptly and without any problems.

In April 2010 all was ready with youth, Leaders and Committee settled, scarves adjusted to the combined Group colours and a “Zero Birthday” celebration opened the Waverley Valley Scout Group.

During 2015 a complete renovation of the hall kitchen occurred- a real modernisation and asset.