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Girl Guide stalwart hangs up uniform

Ann-maree Clark is retiring from Warwick Girl Guides after 30 years continuous service.
Ann-maree Clark is retiring from Warwick Girl Guides after 30 years continuous service. Kerri Burns-Taylor

TODAY heralds not only the start of the new year but also new beginnings for Warwick woman Ann-maree Clark.

The lifelong Girl Guide has hung up her uniform for the last time, as she sets her sights on new adventures.

Mrs Clark, whose guiding name is Wirrinda, served 30 continuous years in the organisation, following a short break.

Starting out as a seven-year-old Brownie, the eager guide worked her way through the ranks to eventually become a leader.

Although she is ending her time in the Girl Guides, Mrs Clark said she was saddened to be farewelling her friends.

"Guiding has been a part of my life and my family's life for as long as I can remember," she said.

"I am giving up something I enjoy for other things I will enjoy but have yet to discover.

"I made a decision that when I stopped working I would stop guiding - and that is what I am doing."

Mrs Clark said the organisation offered girls and young women a great opportunity to develop new skills they may never have otherwise.

"I have done guiding and I believe in guiding," she said.

"It allows girls to learn new things and achieve anything they want to do."

Her career in the Girl Guides has featured several highlights, including meeting Betty Clay, the daughter of legendary Scouts founder Lord Baden-Powell.

She also initiated a life-long friendship with a Canadian counterpart named Elizabeth.

The two became pen friends at a young age and still send emails and chat over the phone today.

As she farewells something that has been an integral part of her life for so long, Mrs Clark said she hoped her time had impacted someone.

"I hope I have had a positive impact on some of the girls and they have learnt some skills," she said.

"I also hope they can recognise their own abilities and have gained a sense of achievement and some good memories."

When asked what she would miss most about guiding, Mrs Clark said the answer was simple.

"The company of the girls and their individual personalities," she said.

"I really have enjoyed my time in Guides."

Topics:  girl guides warwick



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