Saturday, 5 September 2009

Guides' Centenary

Today, Girl Guides around the country are celebrating the centenary of the movement. It started as a result of a group of girls joining a rally held by the Boy Scouts at Crystal Palace and them telling Lord Baden-Powell that they wanted a movement of their own. Baden-Powell, who had originally been against the idea of an organisation for girls, was so impressed by those that attended the rally the he asked his sister Agnes to oversee the foundation of the Girl Guides.

One of the biggest rallies in the country today is again being held at Crystal Palace, and by chance I happen to live just a couple of miles from where the rally is taking place. I haven't been to it, but I can assure you that it sounds as though those attending have been having a great time. I have been able to hear the public address system from time to time and the sound of music and cheering has been a regular feature of the afternoon.

Crystal Palace has been a regular venue for rallies for Girl Guides and I remember attending one there about 40 years or more ago. I happened to be in the right place at the right time at that gathering and was fortunate enough to meet Olave, Lady Baden-Powell, the World Chief Guide. It was an occasion that I remember to this day.

My years as a Brownie, a Guide, a Sea Ranger, and a Guider, taught me a lot about myself and gave me much enjoyment and friendship. I am sure that the same can be said for the girls who are members today. So as they celebrate their first 100 years I hope that the Guide movement will continue to provide these things to the girls of the future for many years to come.

Update. The Guides are finishing their rally with a superb firework display and I have a grandstand view from my bedroom window.

No comments: