Sunday 7 May 2017 was a very sad day for the SAS Unit with Howard Morgan passing away suddenly at home.
Howard had been involved in Scouting in Bexleyheath for over 40 years after moving into the area from Lewisham shortly after getting married initially as ASL then SL at 5th Bexleyheath where he had a big influence on numerous Scouts.
He then became ADC Scouts and he and his team made the Haslehurst Hike into the event many would recognise today including introducing the Junior Competition and also started the Patrol Hike Challenge in 1992.
He was ADC Scouts for more than 15 years and continued to be a valuable member of the Bexleyheath District and then Black Prince SAS teams once he stood down from that role.
Howard was always willing to help in whatever capacity possible, to offer Scouts and younger leaders words of encouragement and advice but equally to let them find their own way.
A traditional old school Scouter who also moved with the times he will be sadly missed by many. RIP H
In the days following Howard's passing many people all had the same idea and with the family’s blessing the Patrol Hike Challenge will in future be known as the Howard Morgan Patrol Hike.
Of the many tributes left on our Facebook group this one from Matt, one of the current Black Prince Explorer Leaders perfectly summed Howard up:
I first met Howard 33 years ago, he was my first scout leader. I remember being in awe of this big, slightly intimidating guy who could swing an axe like a Viking, but who was totally at home teaching kids the life skills that scouting promotes.
He could do all the cool ‘old school’ things like build bridges across ditches, cook on an open fire and even light those infuriating paraffin lamps.
Howard had a wonderful way of explaining things to people, and I’ve often thought he would have made an exceptional teacher.
As the years passed Howard was always there to support local scouting in various roles.
He could turn his hand to anything, from teaching cubs to use a compass to pulling pints behind the Campdowne bar.
His knowledge, totally unflappable persona and wry sense of humor made him a pleasure to spend time with. I know I learned as much from Howard as an adult, as I had learned as a scout.
Howard was kind, easy to talk to and generous with his time. Even if I’d not seen him for ages we could chat away as if it had only been a couple of weeks.
Howard was a force for good in this world. Over the years he was a positive influence in the lives of literally thousands of young people and adults, and was far too modest to accept that many of us regarded him as a role model.
Howard will be greatly missed, he really was one in a million and I feel privileged to have had him in my life for so many years.