One hundred years ago, Arthur R. Eldred, of Rockville Centre, became the first Eagle Scout of the Boy Scouts of America.
On Sept. 8, the Theodore Roosevelt Council of Boy Scouts of America celebrated the centennial anniversary of the Eagle Scout Award with a parade and ceremony in Rockville Centre, the site of Eldred’s achievement.
“We are privileged in this country to have the first Eagle Scout be from Rockville Centre,” council president Salvatore Ciampo said. “We are glad we honored the legacy with a ceremony today befitting of the first Eagle Scout award.”
Boy Scout troops of all ages and ranks from around Long Island marched down North Centre Avenue in front of a hundreds of onlookers. The parade ended at Arthur R. Eldred Park — the corner of North Centre Avenue and Parkwood Court — where a commemorative ceremony was held.
On hand to address the crowd were Rockville Centre Mayor Francis Murray, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and Bishop William Murphy of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.
“I’m very, very much a fan of scouting in America,” Murphy said. “I think it’s one of the great gifts of our American culture and I’m very proud of all of these young men and all the others who support them.”
Following the speeches, the park was then rededicated to Eldred with the presentation of a commemorative wreath stating — Arthur R. Eldred: First Eagle Scout.
“It means everything to the village,” Murray said. “We were blessed to have the first Eagle Scout in America 100 years ago, Arthur Eldred, be part of our community and that spirit has lived on to the Boy Scouts of America for their commitment and dedication to raising young men in our country.”
The fact that the celebration was held in Rockville Centre, where the first Eagle Scout Award was awarded, made the event a particularly special one for those in attendance, including 10 members of Eldred’s family.
“Clearly, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Ciampo said. “We are really pleased that we had probably 2,500 boys here who could say they experienced it.”