Remembering Lady Baden Powell and Guides

Lady Baden Powell – IWD and more.

As the month of March 2024 comes to an end, I am reflecting on a busy and interesting time, with special events to celebrate International Women’s Day (or Month), and much more. I’ve had teeth out, I’ve tried (with mild success) to get back to writing more often, and I have failed to tidy up my boxes of paperwork in the lounge room. And I acknowledged Lady Baden Powell, the founder of Girl Guides.


While I am often prepared to speak at OWNQ (Older Women’s Network Qld) events, as I am the president and I have been “public speaking” for many years, though less these days.  Also being a teacher has helped me be comfortable speaking to a room of people.  Mostly.

At one event, when another speaker finished early and I was suddenly asked to speak, I managed to do so of course, but laughed at the less than 60 second notice I received.  At another event the keynote speaker was late, so again with no notice I was asked to speak –  and luckily the speaker arrived shortly after, so my short unprepared talk was adequate.

Lady Olave Baden Powell

At another event, I spoke about a lady, who was significant in my life when I was in my teens – Lady Baden Powell.  When I was around 10 years old, I became a Brownie, (the junior groups of Guides) and a year or two later graduated to the 1st Warradale Girl Guide group, in Adelaide.

I was an enthusiastic Guide – happy to work to achieve various awards, and eventual Captain of the Swallow Patrol – meeting in a hall that was built by my father and other volunteers.  My mother by this stage was the Divisional Commissioner (she had been a Girl Guide in her teenage years too).

In 1961 Lady Baden Powell visited Adelaide, and there had been a competition and the three top patrols were presented to her in the parklands near South Terrace in Adelaide.  The Swallows came second, so I was one of the lucky ones to meet her – I was 17 years old, and she was in her 70’s.


My Queen’s Guide Badge

The following year, I was awarded the Queen’s Award at Government House Adelaide on Thinking Day.  No photos – but a certificate that has not survived well and a badge, which I still have.  Not long after I joined the senior girls group, the Ranger Guides, and it was as a Ranger that I attended a tour of the QEII Hospital, and on the spur of the moment decided to be a nurse.

The following month, I was on a train to Mt Gambier, in the south-east of South Australia to start my nursing training, which I completed in 1966. Sadly I never went back to Guiding.

I was pleased to tell the story of Lady Baden Powell, who was the instigator of the Guide Movement in 1910 – an organisation that continues to this day.  I am glad I remembered her on IWD and shared some of her story.  What a legacy she left!

Sometimes I do think about Guiding and how it meant so much to me, and how I never returned to it.  My children were not interested as sport and music were more important to them.  I do spend time recalling those days – of the people I met, and the event I went to in Perth in 1962.   Two of my grandchildren were Scouts for several years, but again ,sport took over their live too.

It is an amazing organisation and I value the things I learned and the learning of good personal skills too.  I am glad it is still in existence though.

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About Di Hill

My business card says "Writer, Traveller, Camera Addict, Bamboo Fan, Workshop Presenter." This website will focus on my writing - and the workshops I present. Workshops on Blogging, Marketing for Writers, and Life Story Writing.
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