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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Armytage Own, First Dandenong Scout Hall, 61 Princes Highway, Dandenong, undated.

The First Dandenong Scout Group (Armytage's Own) was formed in March, 1928 by Mr Ted Swords, the first scout master. Apparently a prior group existed for some time in 1917, before their scout master was sent off to serve in the A. I. F. The scout troop called themselves Armytage's Own, as a tribute to Miss Ada Armytage of Holm Park, Beaconsfield (her country house) and Como House, South Yarra.

During the Second World War, the scout hall and the park, which must have been partially cleared,was used by the American Armed Forces as a hospital base, associated with their encampment at Rowville. The hall was partitioned and servicemen were treated in the hall and five other huts erected around it. After the War the High School utilised the hospital huts as classrooms, gymnasium and for school social functions. All but one of the huts were later moved across the road to the school grounds. The wider community also made good use of the hall for meetings, dances, exhibitions and community events.

 Chris Simmins writes.. old Dandenong local ,Mr Alan Trounson, tells me that the original Dandenong rubbish tip for the township was located at the back of Hemmings park. Also the Australian Army Recuperation Camp Hospital No 21 was based at Hemmings Park. 

In relation to the Armytage building, this snippet via Trove... Australian Woman's Weekly 26 Jan 1935 p23.DANDENONG Scouts have a fairy godmother. She is Miss Ada Armytage,of Como, South Yarra, and Holm Park, Beaconsfield, after whom the 1st Dandenong Group is called. 'Armytage's Own' She has always been interested in their movement, and was largely instrumental in building the Scout Hall on the Princes Highway at Dandenong. She wears 'The Gold Thanks' badge. Though the hall has been built four years, the foundation-stone was laid during the recent jamboree in the presence of more than a hundred Scouts of 29 nationalities.Miss Armytage was the founder of the 'Pass It On Club', and has always been busy with philanthropic work.Early in 1914 she had innumerable tiny Belgian flags made and sold them in aid of the Belgians, and out of her charming idea grew the 'flag days', and later, the 'button days', that raised such huge sums during the war. Miss Armytage, who was born at Fulham, Balmoral, had an aboriginal nurse, a daughter of the king of the tribe at Fulham, and the old queen remembered the landing of the first white men.When the white men asked "What is that animal jumping about?" the king answered, "Kan ga roo,"...meaning... "I do not know what you say" and,according to the story Miss Armytage heard, that is how the kangaroo got its name.

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