Tributes to scouting leader

Roger Gibbs deceased.
Roger Gibbs deceased.

Tributes have been paid to businessman and keen scouter Roger Gibbs who passed away in the summer.

Scout leaders from across the county joined Roger’s wife Frances and family and friends at his recent funeral at St Andrew’s Norway Church in Seaside.

Officials in scouting say Roger was devoted to scouting for most of his life.

Friend Ian Watling said, “Roger supported scouting in so many ways and will be remembered by local scouters as a truly inspirational man who always honoured his Scout Promise: to do his best, to do his duty to God and to the Queen, to help other people and keep the Scout Law.”

Educated at Eastbourne Grammar School for Boys, Roger developed an interest in scouting in 1956 when he joined the 11th Eastbourne Scout Group and in July 1978, became involved with the 7th Eastbourne Scout Group, based at St Stephen’s Church in the Broadway, Hampden Park.

In 1983 he went on to become an Assistant District Commissioner and an Assistant Leader for Training.

It was in this latter role that many local scouters remember him as he helped them to learn the skills required to become a Scout Leader.

In 1984 he was appointed to the role of District Commissioner for Eastbourne & District Scouts and he continued in that role until January 1986.

In 1995 he was appointed as an Assistant County Commissioner for Leader Training where he revitalised leader training courses and his meticulous planning skills were utilised to the full as he transformed course content, equipment and opportunities to develop his teams’ performance through hilarious but important team building days.

A keen photographer, Roger recorded many scouting events such as camps and competitions and he helped to create an archive that captures more than 30 years of scouting in East Sussex but sadly in doing so there are now few photographs of him as he was always on the other side of the lens.

The Scout Association recognised Roger’s service in 1990, with a Commendation for Good Service, which was followed by the Medal of Merit in 1995.

In 2002 he was awarded the prestigious Silver Acorn award which was followed by the Bar to the Silver Acorn in 2008. He died with his 35 year service award owed to him.

Outside the scout movement Roger took early retirement from his professional life at Armour Pharmaceuticals and he started running his own business and also worked as driver for SEADOC, the out of hours GP service.