Story by Alistair Gray
Pictures supplied by Noelene Gorman.
Guides and Scouts outside the Guide "Hut "in Webster St mid-seventies.
Noelene Gorman, a long time Bribie Island resident, was first introduced to Girl Guides in Caboolture in 1949. She loved it! Little did she know then that Guides was to become one of her life passions, where she would make many fabulous friendships and be actively involved in leadership development, teaching life skills, attending many camps around Australia, and international travel.
In 1970, Noelene came to Bribie following a failed marriage with three children to raise. When her daughter turned 7, she wanted her to be exposed to the benefits Girl Guides had to offer. So, she contacted Guide headquarters, commenced training, found an assistant and opened Bribie Girl Guides in 1972. There weren't many sporting clubs or activities for young people back then, so Bribie Girl Guides quickly became very popular.
By 1980 they had 80 girls involved in Brownies, Guides and Rangers, meeting in the ‘hut’ on Webster Street. The ‘hut’, purchased for $2,500, was formerly the Toll Master's residence, originally located on the mainland side of the bridge, before being moved to where it sits today. The top level of the ‘hut’ accommodates 28 double-decker bunks, which could potentially be used to assist some of our local homeless, now that the Guides have vacated the building.
In those early days, Noelene would enlist the help of the newly arrived bank manager's wife, the milkman's wife, the baker's wife, the butcher's wife, and the chemist's wife, to help with fundraising and leadership, and in turning the local baker's sponges into the now-famous Girl Guide Lamingtons. As a result, many great friendships were formed.
As the picture below shows, the Guides also played a significant part in the annual ANZAC day parades.
Sadly, after more than 50 years of service, the Bribie Island Girl Guides have closed their doors, after playing an important part in many local girls' lives, establishing strong values, teaching life skills, bushcraft, and leadership development. The group has struggled to get leaders and new members with competition from many competing activities and the increasing costs of membership and insurance.
Interestingly, Girl Guides is undertaking a resurgence in some parts of Australia. This resurgence is seen as Guides being directly relevant in affirmative action and developing young people to be more assertive and prepare them to take more senior leadership roles in our community.
Girl Guide Reunion and Get together
Attention: All past Brownies, Girl Guides, Rangers, and Guide Leaders
Join Noelene Gorman and friends for a final get-together on 11 June 2022 at 10 am at the Gazebo behind the Bribie Island Seaside Museum, Apex Park, 1 South Esplanade, Bongaree. Attendees are encouraged to bring a chair. It is self-catering only.