DAPHNE Drake admits that Girl Guides “took over her life” for many years.
But the 75-year-old has no regrets about her extensive involvement, saying it was “a wonderful time of my life” that gave her many special moments.
Mrs Drake’s big commitment to Girl Guides and the Allansford Girl Guides in particular was recognised on Saturday when she was presented with an award for her 40-year involvement.
It was a bittersweet moment for Mrs Drake. Her award was presented at the combined 50-year reunion and wind-up ceremony for the Allansford Guide unit.
Continuing low membership has forced the Allansford Guides to close their hall. The remaining four guides and leader will next year join the Warrnambool unit.
Mrs Drake said Allansford had up to 50 Guides earlier in the unit’s history and was an excellent way for girls to make friends and learn about working in a team.
“Girl Guides gives girls a side of life that many would never experience without the guiding movement,” Mrs Drake said.
“They have to work in patrols. They all get to know each other, some get life-long friends. It was good, clean fun.”
Mrs Drake’s involvement extended to setting up facilities to enable up to 60 girls to camp in a paddock on the family’s Cudgee property.
Apart from being a unit leader at Allansford, she was also involved at a district and regional level, helping organise at least 60 camps involving hundreds of Guides in Victoria and interstate.
Wet weather was always a challenge and more than once she and her charges retreated to a hay shed or even the toilets for shelter.
Mrs Drake said she got involved in the Allansford unit because one of her daughters joined in 1974.
Her other two daughters also subsequently became members with all three earning senior Guiding awards and becoming unit leaders.
Saturday’s presentation was a morale booster for Mrs Drake, who recently underwent nose surgery.