Reginald Dudley Forde was born in Johannesburg on 20 April 1940. He completed his schooling at Clifton School in Nottingham Road and obtained three degrees at the then University of Natal (now University of KwaZulu-Natal). These included a B.Comm, BA Hons as well as a Masters in Philosophy of Leadership. In 1964, he was the Student of the Year at the Durban Teachers’ Training College.

Forde was inspired by the principles of leadership he studied and began similar courses to train leaders among the boys in the Boy Scout Movement. The Wood Badge, which is known throughout the world, was started by Lord Baden-Powell, first Baron Baden-Powell of Gillwell, England.

Forde was headmaster at several schools in the then Orange Free State (now Free State) and then Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal), and was also a lecturer at his alma mater, Natal University. Throughout his career he inculcated strong values of leadership, discipline and commitment to young people, especially through the Boy Scout Movement of South Africa in which he became active in the 1950s.

From 1959, he held various positions such as Area Commissioner: KwaZulu-Natal, National Commissioner for Training: South Africa and Chief Scouts Commissioner: South Africa (1995 – 1999). He is well known in most spheres concerned with leadership training and has published several papers on his studies and practical work in this area.

The immediate success of these early courses in training boys to become leaders was followed by regular successive courses, each building on experience, innovative ideas and all-round improvement in standards recognising the need for scouting to keep abreast of new developments in a changing South Africa.

An ardent sports fanatic, Forde has collected a number of awards in his long career. These include the Long Service Medal for 40 years of service to scouting, Honourable Citizen Award for Service to Education and Silver Springbok for exceptional service to scouting.

He has proved himself to be an outstanding leader in the field of education. His Headmastership took him from Welkom to Kingsway, KwaZulu-Natal, and he became principal of the renowned Pietermaritzburg College, Headmaster at Durban High School and later Rector of the prestigious Michael House College in Hilton before retiring.

On 27 April 2011, the State President, Jacob G Zuma, conferred Reginald Dudley Forde with the Order of the Baobab in Bronze in recognition of his excellent and unparalleled work in the fields of education and leadership building.

• Anon, 2011, Presentation Of National Orders , Reginald Dudley Forde, from the Presidency, online. Available at  [Accessed  19 May 2011]

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