It was May 1976 when fate decided to introduce me to Ron Stone. I picked my son up after Scouts, as parents do, to be told tearfully there would be no summer camp this year, and this news actually got me out of my car to find out why. There was Ron in the hall clearing away, a quiet, mild-mannered man, who explained that no other Leader could get time off and he needed another adult, any adult, no training needed, could I help so my son and many others could camp.
Before I left he had me signed up for the camp, and had arranged an appointment for me to see the GSL, and I had learnt that his quiet attitude masked a great determination and a great enthusiasm for Scouting. Ron was the perfect Scouter and teacher, he ran on average 4 or 5 camps a year, the vast majority on ‘green field’ sites. He was a superb organiser and had the ability to persuade, in a gentle convincing manner, most people to go along with his ideas. Ron’s cooking was superb, as I recall he was involved in army catering during the war.
His other lifetime commitment was to The Multiple Sclerosis Society where he was Treasurer for many, many years, and involved the Scouts in this by organising every year a Birthday Party and a Christmas Dinner for the local group with the scouts preparing and cooking a 3 course meal for some 80 MS sufferers and helpers. He was also Chairman of the Pinner Men’s Methodist Supper Club who met at the Methodist Church where he was also a Church Steward.
When Ron retired from running the Troop he stayed within the Group as Vice President and later I got my revenge for my original recruitment by proposing he should become District Treasurer, a task he carried out for several years. A more considerate, cheerful, unflappable and honest person I have yet to meet, with a dry sense of humour. He was quite an optimist, but then he had to be, he supported West Ham! A true gentleman and a good friend! Typical of him to have said “We have had so much good out of life; I feel we should something back”.