As already discussed, the Group did not join FNEL at the outset and as a result the Group suffered for years from problems that might have been more easily resolved. A prime example is the question of premises.
The Troop started with literally nowhere to meet. The first meeting was held in David Bramwell’s home but that proved to be unsuitable and further meetings were held in David Heal’s garage. Later the Troop met at the home of one of its members in Bridel.
A year later the European Parish offered the use of the basement in the building which housed the Vox Cinema on the Place du Théâtre. Meetings took place there until 1981 when the Troop had to leave because of building work. Their next home was in a barn loft near Schuttrange followed by a basement in Belair at the home of Scout Leader Douglas Eeles. Finally, in 1985, shortly after Telstar became a member of FNEL, the Troop was taken on as a homeless orphan by the Daereldeiren Group at Bridel. David Heal described the move: “….believe me, gratitude does not adequately describe my feelings or those of the boys who insisted on having a meeting on 1 November 1985 in order to see the new home. As far as we are concerned being a brother to all Scouts came true then”.
The Cubs, meanwhile, met first at the European School on Kirchberg then at the American School, the Vox Cinema and the European School on Bd de la Foire, as did the Beavers. Given a week’s notice in September 1987 that the gym would no longer be available for meetings, FNEL saved the two Sections from homelessness by offering their Headquarters in Hollerich as a temporary solution.
In 1992 the premises in Hollerich were being renovated and the Beaver and Cub meetings became a problem for FNEL. Beverley Atkinson, the Group Scout Leader, discovered that a Scout Hut in Rollingergrund which belonged to a defunct Scout Group in the Catholic Scout Federation, was empty. FNEL helped to negotiate a rent contract with the committee that cared for the hut and at last, after 19 years, the Group could have all Sections meeting under one roof, and we also had a permanent home for our equipment. The hut had its drawbacks, but the location was superb, situated on a plateau above the rue de Rollingergrund. It was almost like being in the countryside in the middle of the city and meetings were held outside whenever possible.
In 1997 we were informed by the Scout Hut committee that they no longer felt in a position to carry on and were going to donate the hut to the LGS, the Catholic Scout Federation. The hut needed extensive renovations running into several million francs. Telstar found a friendly architect in the form of Martin Mulligan who drew up some plans. Telstar approached the LGS with these plans and the suggestion that we should take over the hut on a 50-year lease and do the renovations ourselves. At first the LGS seemed very enthusiastic, but unfortunately for Telstar they were offered funding from elsewhere and decided to renovate the property themselves. Since the building was deemed not to be safe to use, the Group was on the move again.
The American School very kindly offered us a meeting place free of charge and all Sections except Venture Scouts met in the lunch room with our equipment being stored in the garage of a former Akela. When the American School moved to its new premises in 2000, the Group decided to make other arrangements. Since then, the Beavers and Cubs meet in Home Lions Bleus in Bonnevoie with the Scouts and Explorers using the Waldorf School in Limpertsberg. Our equipment eventually moved to the home of a former Group Scout Leader and is still there, even though the family are no longer active members of the Group.
The Group has been fundraising with a view to getting our own premises at some time in the future. The building fund is growing strong. Our dream is to find a building to renovate or a piece of land to build on. Let’s hope we have a permanent home of our own before another 30 years pass by.
St George’s School moved to a new campus in Hamm in 2008 and have offered Telstar a place to meet either in the main school or in large portacabins on the site but longer term have suggested that we build a Scout Base on their site, attached their new gymnasium to be built in 2009/10. We will move to the new facility later in 2008 and work hard towards the permanent ScoutBase.