The sitter was born 8th April 1943 in Edinburgh and the son of Walter Courtenay Morrison and Audrey Elizabeth Morrison. He was educated at Pangbourne College, Britannia Royal Naval College, where he won the Queen’s Telescope and graduated from Pembroke College, Cambridge in 1966. He then qualified as a Chartered Engineer and a Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers in 1973. He married Gillian Cheetham in 1970.
Morrison joined the Royal Navy in 1961 and retired as a Lieutenant in 1973. After leaving the Navy he has been involved in farming in partnership with his family in East Lothian.
Garth’s first Scouting appointment was as Area Commissioner for East Lothian, 1973–1981, he then became Chief Commissioner of Scotland, 1981–1988 and was appointed Chief Scout of the United Kingdom and Dependent Territories by the Committee of Council in 1988. He retired in 1996. In 1982 he was awarded the Silver Wolf and was a Member of the World Scout Committee from 1991 until 2001. In 1987 he was the Deputy Leader of the UK Contingent at the 16th World Jamboree in Australia. During his time as Chief Scout he was heavily involved in the Promise Appeal which culminated in 1992 with fund raising activities initiated by Headquarters and involved Scout Groups across the Country. Part of the Appeal was also aimed at the Corporate Sector to encourage grant making. Overall the Appeal raised £2.5 million pounds and also led to the Today and Tomorrow research to make Headquarter’s services more relevant to Scouting locally. He also created the Chief Scout’s Committee and altered Committee of Council meetings to be on weekends in order that team working and communication could be enhanced. Garth also started the process of making adult inductions more positive and increasing accessibility to Headquarter services by the Membership. One of his major aims as Chief Scout was to tackle the stereotype of Scouting by young people and make it appealing to a diverse range of backgrounds. This was achieved by relaxing the uniform rules so youth members felt more relaxed about wearing it. He also created a more relaxed atmosphere and an emphasis on young people enjoying Scouting. Since retirement he has served on the Committee of Council. Made a Commander of the British Empire in 1994 for his work in the voluntary sector and since 1996 he has been Vice-President of The Scout Association. He was appointed as a Gentleman in the Knight Companion of the Order of the Thistle in 2007.
Where to see this painting?
The Scout Association
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