independent

Sunday 25 August 2019

Wexford's top scout dies aged 89

Stevie Martin during last year's parade.
Stevie Martin during last year's parade.

For the first time in more than 80 years, Wexford's St. Patrick's Day will be missing its top scout.

The death of Stevie Martin at the age of 89 has deprived a family of a much-loved father and grandfather and the town of a man who always stood tall as a scout.

Mayor Cllr. George Lawlor paid a fullsome tribute to Stevie on behalf of all the people of Wexford.

'Stevie was an institution in Wexford, a face that everybody knew and loved and a man whose commitment to young people through Scouting was known the length and breadth of the country and abroad.

For the past 82 years, St. Patrick's Day wouldn't have been St, Patrick's Day without him marching.'

'His lifelong commitment to the Scouting Movement makes him unique and a role model for multiple generations. He will be sorely missed by his family and the generations of scouts who worked with him,' he said.

It's impossible to think of scouting in County Wexford without thinking of Steve Martin in his trademark blue scouts uniform.

In a Facebook tribute to Stevie, Michael Londra said he loved nothing more than a sing song 'so I know he is in heaven, raising a pint and singing his heart out'.

Over eight decades he had been a champion for the scouting movement, and has encouraged countless young people to join the ranks of Scouting Ireland and was nominated for a Person of the Year award IN 201O.

Steve joined the scouts in 1936, becoming a Rawly Scout in 1937, although he had marched in parades as bugler before ever donning his scout's uniform. His first troop was the 2nd Wexford, based in Wexford town, and he achieved the National Scout Award in 1943 and the Silver Palm in 1944.

He held the ranks of Assistant Scout Master, Scout Master, Knight Errand Chief, Assistant Diocesan Commissioner and Diocesan Commissioner. He served on the National Camping Team from 1966 to 1997. His scouting accolades include Member of the Silver Wolfhound, which is the highest accolade a scouter can achieve.

He helped set up other troops as Diocesan Commission over the years including the 7th Wexford in Selskar and the 9th Wexford in St. Peter's College. He also worked in Stafford, UK, for a period, but remained tied to scouting in Wexford, never breaking his service.

In 1973, as Diocesan Commissioner he saw the parish of Clonard beginning to expand and set up the 13th Wexford.

Steve's dedication to scouting was matched and supported by his late wife Alice who passed away in 2003.

The scouting tradition continues in the family through his sons Dave, his grandchildren and great grandchildren, who are all involved in scouting to this day. The troop under Steve's direction has won the Regional Shield on numerous occasions, and has fielded the best PL on the Shield four years in a row. It was one of the first 10 pilot sites nationwide for the introduction of female scouts and today is the only troop in the town with a co-ed membership.

Steve's career in the building trade brought him all around the country, but he always got back to Wexford for Saturday mornings to run the 13th.

Outside of the scouting arena, Stevie was very active with the Volunteers and was recently presented with a Seanna Gael award and was a very proud Wexford man.

Stevie was the loving father of the late Alice, father of David, Marian, Alison and the late Richard (Budgie) and brother of Lily, Kathleen, Michael and the late John and is sadly missed by his immediate family, sons in law, daughter in law, brother in law, sister in law, grand children, great grandchildren, nephews, nieces, other relatives and friends, and the members of the 13th Wexford.

He lived life with his Scouting motto 'Honour God and community and at all times Bí Ullamh'.

Stevie, from Davitt Road North, will be reposing at Kearney's Funeral Home on Tuesday (March 17) the removal at 7 p.m. to the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Rowe Street, for Requiem Mass at 12 noon on Wednesday (March 18).

Wexford People

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