Scouts remember the ‘Chief’

editorial image

Alan Goodman, named ‘Chief’ by his Scout Group in 1989, has died at the age of 73 after a heart attack. His legacy is a generation of Luton Scouts who know the value of Scouting.

For over 30 years Alan trained hundreds of Luton Scouts in the principles of adventure, fun and challenge. Cub Scout Leader Corinne Scott said, “It was both an honour and a pleasure to be taught and aided by this great man.”

He joined Strathmore Scout Group as a supporter in 1985 when his son Adam became a Cub. Four years later he accepted the role of Group Scout Leader.

He was given the nickname ‘Chief’ by the boys and proceeded to give them the discipline and sense of fun that sets them apart in today’s society. He was never happier than when he took the Scouts to summer camps in Derbyshire or Snowdonia. Here they would take part in outdoor cooking, climbing and water activities as promoted by Baden-Powell.

His enthusiasm and organising ability did not go unnoticed. In 1995 he was chosen as District Commissioner for Lea Valley in Luton and later led the town’s celebrations of St George through the town centre.

Alan was well known for looking after those less fortunate than himself. He went out of his way to help a young Cub Scout called Rhys Crowshaw who suffers from spina bifida and encouraged him to take part challenging activities. Ten years later Rhys, now an Explorer Scout, left his wheelchair to ascend a 50-foot wall climbing wall unaided.

This gentle Scout Leader extended his compassion to an international Operation Christmas Appeal and along with his wife Yvonne supported their activities for many years. In 2009 Luton News editor Lynn Hughes said, “For yet another year we’ve been blown over by the generosity of our readers. The Christmas boxes are now on their way to needy children in Asia and Eastern Europe.”

Alan, who helped to manage the campaign, was often seen in the Dunstable warehouse surveying hundreds of parcels ready for their journey to brighten up children’s lives in Eastern Europe. Kaye Hemming said, “I got to know him as he ran Operation Christmas Child every year. He was a very dear man and a friend to all.”

He was awarded a Medal of Merit in 2005 for outstanding services to Scouting and was presented with his 30-year long service award in 2015.