Rathfarnham Girl Guides celebrate their centenary with special event

by Padraig Conlon
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Rathfarnham Girl Guides are marking their centenary this year with a number of events, including a special celebration held recently at Irish Girl Guides’ National Memorial Cottage in Enniskerry.

Over 100 Guide leaders and former Guides and leaders took part in the celebration, which included afternoon tea, a flag-raising ceremony, a fork supper and a campfire.

Anne Bowen, who was Rathfarnham Guide Captain from 1953-1992, cut the specially crafted cake, which included a tent, a campfire, Guide badges and the words of the Guide promise.

Also in attendance was Anne’s daughter, Heather Bowen, who was Leader in Charge from 1992-2019.

Between them, Anne and Heather have 65 years as Rathfarnham Guide Leaders!

Sylvia Richardson, who has been involved in Rathfarnham Guides for many years and is currently an Irish Girl Guides’ Outdoor Advisor, Trainer and Treasurer of the National Programme and Training Committee, was one of the event organisers.

“We were delighted to have our President, Maureen Murphy, as our special guest and everyone enjoyed looking at the memorabilia and a slide show of old photos,” Sylvia said.

“The weather smiled on us and we were able to sit outside.”

There were several speeches with Sylvia sharing some of her memories of Guides in Rathfarnham and Heather speaking about Guiding today – the similarities and the differences from Guiding in the early years.

“As it got dark, we adjourned outside for our campfire,” said Sylvia.

“We sang our remembered songs and finished up with toasted marshmallows and chocolate biscuits.

“It was a great day of meeting old friends and lovely food and memories galore.

One hundred years is a great achievement and I personally have got a huge amount out of Guiding.

“It has helped me become a confident person in all areas of my life.

“I would like to congratulate Heather and her team of Leaders over the years for keeping Guides in Rathfarnham going through hard times and good times.

“I hope Guides in Rathfarnham will continue well on into the future.”

Irish Girl Guides welcomes new members from age 5+ and new volunteer Leaders from age 18+.

For further information see their website or phone 01 6683898.

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