Guiding in Bermuda marks 100 years
The year 2019 was the 100th Anniversary of GirlGuiding Bermuda. During the course of the year a number of special events took place to celebrate a century of Guiding in Bermuda.
A special Thinking Day service was held last February attended by many former Brownies, Guides and Leaders as well as current members.
This was followed by a very successful International Camp held on Paget Island in August. Organized by local leaders, there were approximately 100 Guides and Leaders in total, representing Cayman Islands, NE England, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Scotland, St. Helena and Bermuda.
The 100th Anniversary concluded last weekend with a Tea Party attended by approximately 75 guests consisting of current and former Brownies, Guides, Leaders and Island Commissioners and special guests. Attendees were seated in a horseshoe as they enjoyed light refreshments along with a beautifully decorated special Anniversary cake. Guests were entertained with skits, speakers and singing, with everyone participating in some well-known Guiding songs.
The first Guide company, the 1st Hamilton Guides, was formed on January 30th 1919, with the first Brownie unit being registered in 1921. By 1920 there were 3 Guide and 2 Brownie units with 150 girls total and in 1929 a Ranger unit was formed. A Sea Ranger unit was formed in 1931, as well as 1st Excelsior Company, the first Guide unit for black girls.
By 1943 there were 500 girls in the movement, this number increasing to over 1,000 by 1969. The Bermudiana award, in recognition of sterling service, was designed in 1970 and has been presented to a number of deserving leaders over the years. In 1980, Dorset (where Sir George Somers was born) presented the Association with a beautiful hand-made standard which is presented at every Thinking Day service.
In 1990 the first Rainbow units were formed for girls aged 5 to 7 and at this time a birdbath made by Lord Baden-Powell on a former visit to Bermuda was presented to the Association and currently sits on the grounds of the Asser Hut, Girl Guide headquarters.
In 2004 the Association became known as Girlguiding Bermuda, with 2 Rainbow units, 8 Brownie units, 5 Guide units and 1 Ranger unit. This same year, a time capsule was buried in the grounds of Government House, to be unearthed in 2044 on the 125th Anniversary of Girlguiding Bermuda.
• Press release from Girlguiding Bermuda