The Aga Khan Scouts Group (Nairobi)




The Aga Khan Troop was born.  The troop started under the leadership of Mr. Hassanali Rajan.  At the onset, there were 24 boys and 2 leaders.  At this time scouting in Kenya was in its infancy with a total of 7 troops containing 226 scouts and 94 cubs.


The troop formed a fully-fledged flute band, the only one of its kind among the Kenya scouts.


The troop participated in the First Kenya Rally held at the then Government House, Nairobi at the invitation of H.E. Sir Byrne.


Highlight of the year was the rally held by the Lord Baden Powell, founder of the Scout Movement at the Agriculture Show Ground.  The troop was among the other troops to display their activities.


The first general camp for Kenya scouts was held at the Nyali Beach, Mombasa, 350 scouts participated which included a strong contingent from our troop.  The camp was visited by the Chief Scout of Kenya colony Sir Robert Brooke-Popham.


Outbreak of the 2nd World War.  Scouts from our troop were actively involved in A.R.P Service (Air Raid Precaution).


The Chief Scout of the World, Lord Baden Powell died in Nyeri.  Our scouts participated in commemoration services in Nyeri and Nairobi.  The troop strength now stood at 40.  The Kenya Scouts population was 4066.


The troop numbering received attention and troops in Kenya were given new numbers.  Our troop became 5th Nairobi.  The Aga Khan Cub Pack was formed.


A Scout Fete and Pageant was held at the City Park, Nairobi in aid of the B.P. Memorial Fund.  Our troop actively participated.  Rover Crew was formed.


Our group participated in the Commemoration Services for Lord Somers, the Chief Scout of the Commonwealth.


Senior Scouting started in Kenya.  Our group was among the first to form a Senior Troop.

Our group held a rally in honour of His Highness The Aga Khan late Sultan Mohammed Shah at the Nairobi Agricultural Show Grounds.  His highness was most impressed by the group’s display of activities


A contingent from our group participated in the First East African Jamboree held in Uganda.


A permanent camp site was acquired in the Ngong forest by the Kenya Scouts Association.  For the next three years or so our group devoted a lot of time clearing the area, felling trees, removing undergrowth and establishing campsites.  Since then the group has almost become a permanent feature at the camp and has contributed a lot towards its development.  In the earlier years in appreciation of our services, a camp was permanently reserved for our group.


Our group was represented at the official opening of the Rowallan Camp by Lord Rowallan, the chief scout of the Commonwealth.  The group took part in various activities and the camp fire.


First recognized Preliminary Training Course was held in Kenya and Mr. Chottu Shariff and Ismail Bhanji Devji attended.

The group organized a rally in honour of H.S.H Prince Aly Khan.

Cubs participated in the Inter Pack Competitions.


During the visit of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, our scouts did an excellent job.  The Commissioner of Police was most impressed and his letter to the group said, “My great appreciation of the invaluable help which the Aga Khan Scouts rendered to the police on the occasion of the Royal Procession through Nairobi.  I wish to add that your group gave material help in assisting in the control of unprecedented crowds”.


125 scouts participated in a scout rally held at Mitchell Park.  First Cub Rock Council in Kenya was formed and 6 leaders from our group were in it.

These six leaders also participated in the 3rd Cub Leaders’ Preliminary Training Course.


The group’s strength now stood at 53 scouts, 17 senior scouts, 28 cubs and 12 leaders.  The group’s Open Day was held and the first issue of Torchbearer – the group’s souvenir magazine – published.

Our scouts led Bob-a-Job Float through the streets of Nairobi.  12 Leaders attended the First Scout Leaders’ baraza at City Hall.


Group Open Day was held on June 9 and the second issue of the Torchbearer published.

H.S.H. Prince Aly Khan on visit to Kenya inspected the group.


Senior Scout Amirali Bhimji Suleman became the first scout from our group to be awarded the Queen Scout Badge (highest Senior Scout Award)

Four Scouts were awarded the Scout Cord (highest Scout Award).

Senior Scout Tajdin M. Kassam was selected to be in the Kenya contingent to participate in the World Jamboree in Britain to mark the 50th Anniversary of World Scouting.

The flute band was now converted to a full brass band.


According to Mr Stan Briggs, the Camp Warden at Rowallan Camp “the troop seems to have made good start in the New Year and are making full use of the camp.  They have been in camp over the last 7 weekends”.

This go-ahead spirit won the group 13 Queen Scout Awards.

Mrs. Shirin Shariff and Miss Gulzar Rajan from the Cub Pack became the first Asian Lady Cub Masters in Kenya. 

Two Scouts Cords were Awarded.

Mr. Chottu Shariff attended the 5th Wood Badge course and became the first leader in the group to be awarded the Wood badge – the highest award for a leader.


The group set another record when they became the first troop in Kenya to be awarded the Rowallan Camp Standards Certificate.


Rover Scout Aziz Alaudin received the B.P. Award (highest award for a Rover Scout).  This was the first such award in East Africa.  Five Rover Scouts attended Rover Scout Leaders’ Training Course.


Ten senior scouts attended a special service in honour of Lady Baden Powell and were introduced to her.

The scouts displayed activities at a rally held at Rowallan Camp in honour of Sir Charles MacLean, the Chief Scout of the Commonwealth.


All our Rovers, Scouts and Senior Scouts took part in the Republic Day Scout Float procession and assisted at the garden party at the State House.


Extension scouting for mentally handicapped was started in the group by Mrs. Shamshudin Tajpar.  It was the first of its kind in Kenya.

Two Lion Scouts (award changed from Queen Scout to Lion Scout after independence) were awarded.


The troop was placed 3rd in the Inter Patrol Competitions.


A Sports section was formed to train scouts in athletics, gymnastics, sports and swimming.


Five Scout Cords were awarded.  Our scouts took part in the youth Festival Float Procession.


Group won Inter Patrol Competition, carried away all the bob-a-job prizes offered by the Nairobi City Scouts Association and also won the Nairobi Scouts swimming gala.  Six Scout cords were awarded.

The band was made into a separate entity and the Aga Khan Guides joined the Group Council.


Scouts won the Inter Patrol Competition for the second consecutive year and also carried away all the bob-a-job prizes.  Four Scout Cords were awarded.


Sadru Damji and Mehboob Nazerali attended the 13th World Jamboree in Japan.  Scouts won 5 out of 6 bob-a-job prizes.


Five senior scouts were awarded the Lion Scout award.


Senior Scouts assisted at the 24th World Scout Conference held in Nairobi.


Senior Scout Aly Khan was awarded Silver Cross with green ribbon for gallantry.  This was the first ever award for gallantry since independence.  Scout Zaheed Jivraj was awarded the Best Patrol Leader trophy at the patrol leaders’ training course from amongst 88 participants.

Senior Scouts won the Inter Patrol Competitions and Scout were placed 3rd.


Liakat Damji and Imtiaz Walji were among the Kenya contingent to attend the 14th World Jamboree in Norway.

Mr. Abdul Gaffar was awarded the Wood Badge.  The group organized a Variety Show and barbeque for parents.


Three Lion Scouts were awarded.  Zahir Hasham climbed to Batian (17,058 feet).

Nagib Nanji awarded Wood badge.

Scouts won Inter Patrol Competition.


Hosted dinner in Honour of Mr. Peter Richardson, Technical Assistant from Gilwell, London.

At the “White Elephant” sale held by the Kenya Scouts Association, our troop held a photographic exhibition and the senior scouts gave a spectacular display of Crossing the Nairobi River.

The group made history when the Scouts and the Senior Scouts won the National Finals of the Bata Super Scouts Inter Patrol Competitions simultaneously, a feat not achieved by any troop before and not emulated since to date.


Liakat Damji awarded the Wood Badge.

First Kenya National Jamboree was held from August 9 – 13 attended by over 1,200 scouts.  Twelve Senior Scouts were in the service team whereas the Jamboree activities committee headed by Mr. Abdul Gaffar was largely composed of the leaders from the group.  Their outstanding work earned praise from one and all.

Mr. Abdul Gaffar and Mr. Nagib Nanji became the first members of the group to be appointed to the National Training Team.


Nazmuddin Memon was awarded the Wood Badge.


The Group gave an impressive Guard of Honour which was inspected by Hon. Charles Njonjo on the occasion of the Ismaili Youth Association’s bi-annual Blood Donation Day.

The group established an experimental tree nursery at the Rowallan Camp.

Mr. Abdul Gaffar was awarded a Letter of Commendation for special good services to scouting by the President and Chief Scout of Kenya, H.E. Daniel Arap Moi.


Golden Jubilee of the Group.