When Alwin Hughes was little he always wore his Boy
Scout uniform. Some suggested that he acquired his name 'Scout'
because he was an enthusiastic Boy Scout. Always ready to do his
best with a knot or a willing attitude.
The truth is always harder. Alwin Hughes's family
was amongst the poorest, and Alwin Hughes had wanted to join the Boy
The Boy Scout uniform has never been free.
Alwin Hughes's family had to sacrifice to afford it. He wore his
uniform all the time because there was, apparently, never money enough to
buy other clothes for him.
The name 'Scout' was derogatory. It was not a
name Alwin Hughes was proud of. But he was proud of having been a Boy
Scout, and he would have been much prouder of having been a Boy Scout if,
like everyone else, he
had not had to wear the uniform whenever he was out in public.
Often there is too much unsaid in the course of
achieving a sense of belonging. Things that can never be left behind
remain always. Scripted bitterly into the mind. A lurking
presence. Then, if he is lucky, a time will come when a person decides
to his given name. It is a form of acceptance, certainly. But,
while for some it is victory, for others it is an entitlement.