Davenies School

Honouring Akela’s 50 Years of Dedication

Members of the Davenies community turned out in their droves to celebrate Ann Tennant’s incredible 50 years as Akela of the Davenies Cub Packs, where her dedication was recognised with one of the Scout Association’s highest awards.

Invited guests, including the Deputy Mayor, Cllr Jackson Ng; Beaconsfield Town Crier, Dick Smith; Cllr and Old Davenian, Alex Dunlop; Peter Cathcart, County Chair of Buckinghamshire County Scout Council; Maureen Garner, Chair of Woodlands District Scout Council, and Tim L’Angellier, Woodlands District Scout Training Manager, were joined by a number of former and present Governors and Chairs of Governors, former pupils and parents, Chairs of Friends of Davenies past and present, and of course, the guest of honour, Ann Tennant and her family for a special lunch. Following this, guests moved to the Cub Hut with Year 6 Cubs Sean and Nick as flag bearers, leading the presentation party. The poem, “Meet Akela“, created from poems written by the Cubs, was clearly and sympathetically read by Finn, a Year 5 Cub, followed by the presentation to Akela, of a framed print of the poem with the thanks given by Alfie, a Year 4 Cub.

Unbeknown to most, Peter Cathcart, Bucks County Chair of  The Scout Association then presented Ann The Silver Acorn, a prestigious award only given after at least 20 years of specially distinguished and outstanding service. Ann (unusually!) was speechless at this great honour, especially given there are only a handful Silver Acorn award holders in Buckinghamshire. Ann gave a heartfelt thanks before leading the Cubs in her unique Cub Howl, after which Cubs members of the Junior Choir joyfully sang ‘There’s a power in the Music’.

The celebrations continued on the Field with Tug of War, Welly Wanging, Football and many other activities entertaining over 300 guests, while a constant supply of tea,  cakes and scones kept everyone refreshed . Kindly assisted by the booming voice of the Town Crier, Dick Smith, guests then gathered for further presentations to Ann.

Chair of the Friends of Davenies, Monica Lennon, thanked Ann for establishing Friends of Davenies (FoD) over 20 years ago, and spoke about how the charity has grown over this time, and how the FoD is now at the core of the Davenies community as a key supporter of the School. The Headmaster, Mr Rycroft,  also thanked Ann for all that she has given to the School over 50 years, in a myriad of ways, through her commitment and dedication to the Cubs, her unwavering support of the FoD, and her cheery and chatty visits to School to see if she can help. The Cubs members of Junior Choir further entertained guests with beautiful performances of three songs.

All too soon the celebrations came to an end. Ann thoroughly enjoyed the day, and was delighted to see so many friends and former Cubs. The prestigious Silver Acorn award, whilst a surprise for Ann, was fitting recognition of her 50 years of tireless commitment, dedication and love of her Davenies Cub Packs.

For more photos from the day, please click here.

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