Historical moment for Yarra Glen Girl Guides

Erin Allison (left) and Heather Dynes (right). Picture: DONGYUN KWON

By Dongyun Kwon

Yarra Glen Girl Guides will have its 70th-anniversary celebration on Sunday 26 November.

Yarra Glen Girl Guides leader Heather Dynes said one of her best experiences was the 30th anniversary and she wanted to get the feeling back again on the 70th anniversary.

“We would have had over 100 people here and it was absolutely wonderful. We had a huge party here with everybody coming from the community including Men’s Shed, Lions Club and CFA,” she said.

“That to me is an achievement when the community wanted to be part of guiding.”

Guiding started in Yarra Glen in 1941 with the guides meeting in the local animal produce store in the Yarra Glen Main Street which eventually closed in 1946.

In 1958, the Girl Guides reopened at the Presbyterian hall where the girls once again had meetings.

Afterward, a local lady, Mrs McCracken, offered the Yarra Glen Guides a permanent guide hall at 13 Oliver Street in Yarra Glen.

The guide hall was named after Mrs McCraken and is now called ‘McCracken House’.

Ms Dynes said she always wanted to make the Guides as a family.

“I have watched girls grow up. My biggest achievement was the moment when they’ve got children and they asked if they could bring their children to the Guides,” Ms Dynes said.

“We have a few members who brought their daughters and granddaughters to the guide.”

Many events are run throughout the year on local, state and international levels and the girls learn practical skills, physical development and relationships with people while they are participating in the activities and overcoming challenges.

“We do sailings, canoeings, cavings, horse ridings, campings and lots of other things,” Ms Dynes said.

“Our mission is to empower all girls to become confident, engaged, resilient and responsible community members.”

Senior guide Erin Allison said she liked to get along with girls with different personalities who have the same interests within the Girl Guides.

“I think I learnt how to put in my best effort. As a leader, I just do what I need to do and everything falls into place from there,” she said.

“It’s amazing to know that we’ve been here for 70 years being a part of the community. And I am so proud of the history we’ve got here.”

Erin will receive the Queens Guide Award, the highest award she could get as a guide, during the 70th-anniversary celebration.

Anyone, wishes to come to the celebration or join the Yarra Glen Girl Guides, is encouraged to contact Ms Dynes at 0409 355 304 or yarralynne@bigpond.com.