Girl Guides honour veteran leaders
March 24, 2005
Girl Guides honour veteran leaders

As persons age, they usually get frail, but the ladies of the Girl Guides Movement showed that they were as strong as ever when they celebrated their 90th anniversary, on Sunday March 13, at the Tropic Breeze Hotel.

The organisation honoured the forerunners of the movement who today have helped to give the now vibrant Girl Guides Movement a solid foundation with a lunch and award ceremony.{{more}}

One of honourees was Irma Norris, now 88, one of the first persons in guiding. Born in Bequia, Norris moved to mainland St.Vincent at age 10 where she joined the Girl Guide Company while attending secondary school.

She returned to Bequia in 1934 and started the Bequia Guide Company, and later the Brownie Pack.

In 1942, when communication was limited and there were emergencies in Bequia, it was Norris who used Morse Code to inform persons at the signal station in Fort Charlotte and they would later inform the police.

Norris has chalked up some historic achievements in her time.

This founding member’s credits include, being captain of the St. George’s Cathedral, establishing and training the only cadet group for Guides in 1955, being District Captain for Kingstown, and acting as Island Commissioner. She also was District Commissioner and later a member of the Council of the Girl Guide Association. Norris is also credited for organising the visit of Lady Baden-Powell, World Chief Guide.

Receiving plaques and gifts of appreciation, Norris, who is the oldest Guide in the country at the moment, expressed joy in contributing three quarters of her years to guiding.

Many of the persons she taught are now Guides still involved in passing on their knowledge to others in the Girl Guide Movement. She said that she is also proud to be a part of a group that taught her discipline and the true meaning of caring.

The other persons appreciated with plaques were: Jean Duncan, Jeanette France, Alayne Williams, Azucena Williams, Carol Saunders, Grace Morris, Elaine Connell, Jeffery Da Silva, Dawn Smith, Cedric Franklyn, Robert O’Garro, Inola Tucker, Louise Toney, Gwendolyn Agard, Maggie Wilson, Yvonne Mulraine, Geraldine Barrow and Hugh Huggins.

Certificates of appreciation were also given to Lorna De Bique, Heather Stewart, Jean Charles, Flavia Howard, Althea Commissiong, Inola Edwards, Laura Browne, Betty Child, Monica Coombs, Hazel-Anne Crichton and Dorothy Stapleton.

The Hampshire West Girl Guides Company in England was also given a special award for their connection with the local Girl Guide Company.

President of the Girl Guides Association, Gwendolyn Russell thanked those who faithfully helped to guide the young women of this country and joked that it would not be another 90 years when these voluntary Guiders will be honoured.