This is an extract from an email dated 13 October 2007 written by a person not directly involved in the situation I found myself in but he did put the facts into words to 2 other members of Northampton District. The last paragraph makes for some interesting reading.
Your concerns regarding the way that Peter Maryniak has and is being treated by County and District alike, is understandable and somewhat shared. It is indeed deeply regrettable that these issues, yet again seem to be heading towards litigation although it is not surprising when an individual is seen to be constantly under attack by the Rev Simmons and others. As for the County Commissioner’s stated concerns being “with a man who threatened a fellow Scouter with court action”. He would be far better giving thought to the reasons why not only Peter but others, including those who are or were employed by the County, felt the need to have to threaten legal action and why the County has had to make payments to avoid such action being taken. I’m sure that you and XXXX will certainly recall that at one time the former East District were having to threaten same in order to recover a loan, the repayment of which was “promised” to them by County! Scouting would do well to remember the reasons that led XXX XXXX receiving a writ through his letterbox!
There had been issues ongoing for some years between Peter and Overstone Management Committee which was made up of the three Districts and had embroiled various DC’s as well as subsequent CC’s. As Peter was better known to XXX XXXX, he was charged on behalf of the three districts to “broker” a deal with Peter and which thanks to XXX good efforts he quickly and correctly did, coming to an agreement with Peter for an amount of money owed to him to be paid in return for equipment held by him being likewise returned. The proposed settlement was reported back to the three DC’s and Chairs it was fully agreed and reported to Peter. Most unfortunately however the deal was renaged upon with the East District Committee, driven by misguided and wrong information provided by some members of the OMT, refusing to make approprite payment and thereby placing both XXX XXXX and Scouting fundamentally in ‘breach of agreement’ and thereby open to legal action. Needles to say both X & I quickly took action to put this matter right and the matter was amicably settled between the parties without the need for court action although by this time the writ had been issued.
At the time of the closure of the three former districts Peter was a member of Castle Ashby District (badge secretary I believe) when Castle Ashby was closed Peter joined Brixworth Fellowship. I actually witnessed him paying his membership fees at a meeting of the fellowship that I was attending to discuss their transfer into the new Northampton District. Following the District closures, Peter and all of the other former Brixworth Fellowship thereby became members of Northampton District.The County Commissioner held the view that Peter Maryniak should not be offered a position anywhere in Scouting and indeed when Peter applied for a position in the new Grafton District the DC at the time made it absolutely clear that she would not offer him a position within her District. Being a Scouter by principle and taking account of the fact that Peter was already a member of my District, I made it absolutely clear that I would treat Peter no more and no less than I would treat any other fellow Scouter. It is true to say that I did not go looking for Peter to become active within the district. On a couple of occasions I was approached by Peter offering his services but chose others in preference to Peter and explained to Peter at the time my reasons for doing so which he understood and accepted.
It was in anticipation of the centenary celebrations that we considered what could be done to demonstrate 100 years of Scouting and bring together what was after all a significant amount of memorabilia and artefacts. It was our objective to hopefully persuade a museum to provide space for such items and it was hoped that we might be able to use the forthcoming anniversary year to achieve this. It was further decided through discussion at District Team level and with the Executive Committee that we could start bringing these things together by utilising what was by now, having Fernie Fields become available, an otherwise totally unused facility upstairs at Ivy Rd. Peter Maryniak with his many years of scouting and known interest in collecting badges and such items was an obvious candidate for the task of managing this project. I’m pleased to say that he did an excellent job of both bringing together all the many bits and pieces that people seemed delighted to donate, thanks to your excellent work with him on media promotion. Peter also did a magnificent job with the design and construction of the eventual display for the Museum in Guildhall Road. Approval that was fully endorsed following regular discussion with both District Team and Executive Committee members.
I had a further need for Peter’s service shortly after having appointed Tim Walker as the Manager for the newly created Service Team. The Service Team was central to the District’s plans for further development and improvements at Overstone. Tim had submitted an excellent thesis relating to conservation of the woodland and his skill and experience, being already employed in forestry work, made him an ideal candidate for the job. Unfortunately however, having accepted the position, Tim then changed his employment and as a result seemed unable to find the time for these additional Scouting duties. He was not attending committee meetings and, other than a single meeting meeting held with some potential new members for the Service Team, development of this went no further and the whole operation was in fear of collapse. It was at this time, having by now both Dave Watts and Terry Curtis resigned from the newly defined Overstone Management Team that I was approached by Xxx & Xxxx. They suggested I should seek the support of Peter who after all spent quite a bit of time at Overstone and who, they assured me, they would have no problems working with. I was not willing to replace Tim Walker, appreciating the difficulties he was likely to be having with his new employment. I therefore asked Peter if he would be willing to take on the role of Assistant Manager which he agreed to do. Unfortunately Tim’s contribution continued to be extremely limited but thanks to the efforts of Peter working with other members of the OMT we were at last able to bring together and launch the new District Service Team.
I can assure you that the appropriate documentation for Peter in his new role was completed and put into process. He already held a CRB clearance form a copy of which was provided to me and forwarded to Xxxx. Becoming aware that it had been issued by the former Castle Ashby District, it was decided by Xxx & I that it would be appropriate for a new CRB clearance to be obtained. Needless to say this somewhat delayed the issuing of a Provisional Certificate and subsequent attendance at any appointments committee which had not happened at the time of me being disposed as DC. I can assure you that I did include Peter on the District Census as a member of the District Team (Assistant Service Team Manager). His annual membership subscription was thereby paid by the District in accordance with district policy and as per all other adult district team members whose subscription was not already paid by any particular scout group.
I have already gone on record as not wanting, or in any way being inclined, to become embroiled in the Reverend Simmons continuous victimisation and harassment of Peter Maryniak. Whilst this position has not in any way changed, it would not be right for me to simply allow him or anyone else to besmirch the reputation of good people like you, Peter and Xxx, have given many years of good service to Scouting, just because it suits his particular agenda.
Please feel free to share this information with whoever you feel appropriate.
Yours in Scouting.