William (Bill) M. Stern - Gone Home

Bill Stern

William (Bill) M. Stern
C.Eng., F.I. Mech.E., M.I.M.C.

County Commissioner 1983 – 1985
County Chairman 1990 – 1991
County President 1991 – 2023

We are very sad to announce the passing of our County President, Bill Stern at the age of 94.  

In 1983 Bill accepted the Chief Scout's invitation to become our County Commissioner, having commenced his scouting journey during the late 1930's as a Wolf Cub in the 23rd Clapham (St. John's) Scout Group.

During the early part of the war, having been invested whilst evacuated in the 1st Wokingham (Mayor's Own), he continued scouting in the Cherokee 2nd Golders Green Group in North London. This Group undertook extensive development work at the Chalfont Heights Scout Camp Site and as a member of the Cherokee Rover Crew, he received the 'Freedom' of that site for work over many years as a member of their Service Team.

Bill as a scout

In 1953 Bill and Pat married, and in June this year they celebrated 70 years of marriage. Moving to North West London in 1960, he ran the Cub Scout Pack at St. Andrew's Church, Uxbridge, and also became District Cub Scout Leader. During this period he gained his Wood Badge.

Bill started his professional career as an Engineer and moved into Management Consultancy.

Where he specialised in executive recruitment and was Managing Director of Prospect-Stern. For some eight years in the late 1960's and early 1970's his work took him to East and Central Africa and it was here, in Nairobi during 1973, whilst a member of the Nairobi Rotary Club, that he acted as a member of the host country Reception Committee for the World Scout Conference held there. He met delegates from many countries, including the then Chief Scout, Sir William Gladstone.

bill cira 1982

On his return to the U.K. in 1974, through his company Inbucon Management Consultants, he undertook an assignment to review the professional organisation and structure of the Scout Association.

He was appointed to the Council of the Association and for several years served as a member of the General Purposes Committee at Scout Headquarters.

At the request of the World Scout Committee, in 1978 he was appointed to undertake a Management Survey at the World Scout Bureau (now the World Organisation of The Scout Movement), at their then Headquarters in Switzerland.

In their report to the 27th World Scout Conference, Bruce Garnsey, the Chairman of the World Scout Committee  wrote “In carrying out its work, the task force appointed was fortunate in obtaining the services of Mr William M. Stern, an experienced Management Consultant, and a member of the Scout Movement, who undertook a management study for The Scout Association in the United Kingdom in 1974. Mr. Stern made available a considerable amount of his time and made two extended visits to the World Bureau, following which he provided a report with recommendations to the Task Force to assist in the feasibility study.”

Moving south of the Thames in the late 1970's, he became a member of the Group Executive of the 19th Purley (Riddlesdown) Scout Group and later their Chairman. He then went on to be appointed Chairman of the Purley and District Scout Council.

Bill was our County Commissioner from 1st January 1983 until 24th September 1985. Between 1985 and 1990 he held numerous county appointments and then in 1990 he took on the role as County Chairman for a year.

South Circular

In 1991 Bill accepted the County’s invitation to become our County President, a roll that he diligently carried out over the last 32 years.

In 2003 Bill’s exceptional service to scouting was recognised when he was awarded the Silver Wolf and in June 2019 Bill was presented with his 70 years service award.

Greater London South Scout County was most fortunate in having such an experienced, kind and gentle man as our County Commissioner and long serving County President. You will be missed.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Bill’s family at this very sad time.

Bill at the 1983 County AGM