Philately of the Fourth World Boy Scout Jamboree
by Sheldon S. Levy

#481 40f


Although some variety of articles have appeared in both philatelic and Scouting publications, concerning the Fourth World Boy Scout Jamboree, held in Gödöllő, Hungary in 1933, never before has any serious attempt been made to gather and to combine the accumulated philatelic knowledge about this Jamboree and to recount in both verbal and pictorial detail the full story of the myriad philately of this historic event.

Following the First World Jamboree, which was held in 1920 at the Olympia Hall in London, England, the Second held in Denmark in 1924, and the Third at Arrowe Park, Birkenhead, England, in 1929, the Fourth World Jamboree marked the first time that a World Scouting event had hit the heartland of Europe and, more important, signaled the first occasion that any nation's postal department had seen fit to honor an international Scout gathering with a distinctive set of commemorative postage stamps.

Prior thereto, Scouting had been noticed with postal adhesives or postal cards only by a few countries, and then only in connection with purely local or national Scout occurrences.  The three previous World Jamborees had been accomplished by only a sporadic and sparse assortment of cancellations (which are extremely rare today), fund-raising seals and advertising labels.  All World Jamborees since, however, have been honored by the production of one or more actual postage stamps, at least, by the host country.

The Fourth World Jamboree is especially significant in that it initially and finally bridged the gap between philately and World Scouting, helped to publicize the Boy Scout movement on an international scale, greatly enhanced the Scouting image throughout the world, and, undoubtedly, made possible the taking of a giant step towards the development of the organization as it exists today.  Unfortunately, in 1947, Hungarian Scouting fell victim to world politics when Hungary was forced to resign from the International Boy Scout Bureau.

The surprising amount and variety of philatelic and philatelically connected material, which will be detailed hereafter in this article and which emanated from this international event, makes it clear that this, in fact, was not only a Scouting Jamboree, but a philatelic jamboree as well.

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