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Australia 1967

Details from the Chief Guide | Itinerary of her visit to Queensland | Personal Stories

Details from the Chief Guide

of her tour to an around Australia - 19 April to 28 May 1967

Places visited   22
Radio interviews 29
Press interviews 28
TV interviews 19
Official receptions (Civic & Govt) 17
Guide/Scout airport welcomes and departures, and large rallies 46
Talks to adults and parties and gatherings of Guide and Scout leaders 32
Miles travelled in Australia 7137
Miles to get to Perth from England 24,093
There will be a further few thousand to get back to England, on what will be my 595th flight, with a total of miles flown on Guide Business 433,704

A sample of Chief Guide's exhausting tour schedule.

The itinerary of her trip to Queensland

Sunday May 14  Arrive at Eagle Farm Airport. Queen's Guides and Queen's Scouts form the Guard of Honour.

Official party meet the Chief Guide. Press, TV, and radio interviews at the Airport VIP Room.

Ste Commissioner Mrs Guthrie and Chief Scout Mr Nixon travel in the official car to Oriel Park.

Meet Trefoil Guild members ar Oriel Park. Welcomed by the first Guide in Queensland, Mrs Robertson (nee Katherine Grimes), and also the first Scout.

Chief Guide addresses gathering (approx 15 mins).

Monday May 15 Call on the Premier, the Hon GFR Nicklin MLA.

Leave Government House for Kindilan for Official Opening of the All Australia Guide Camp, Camp Kumanka, at Kindilan.

Seven-eighths of Guides are assembled, the remainer close inot assembly area excorting Lady BP from a distance. All sing the Welcome Song. Official introductions. A Guide presents Lady BP with Camp Cords. Chief Guide speaks for approximately 15 minutes. Officially opens camp.  Afternoon tea in Kindilan House. Drive around camp sites. guies line route waving goodbye.


Tuesday May 16 Official opening of Queensland Room at MsDonnell & East, George St. Chief Guide speaks for approx 10 mins.

Morning tea at Parliament House, hosted by a Cabinet Minister.

Festival Hall function, attended by all members of Guiding and Scouting, and their friends! Programme includes 'items' (Gang Show type?) and a combined choir. Chief Guide speaks for approx 20/30 minutes.

Wednesday May 17 Youth Function
Thursday May 18 Depart for Darwin via Mt Isa.

Personal stories

This memory from a Guide:

I was fortunate to meet Lady BP when I was one of the hundreds of Guides attending Camp Kumanka at Kindilan, Queensland, in 1967. We were all as excited about meeting her as we would have been to meet our favourite pop star.

I actually got to shake her hand and I still remember two special things about her: she had a lovely smile and very soft hands. THose poor hands must have been ver sore that night from squeezing so many enthusiastic girls like myself.

I remember too how I felt (by then a Guide Leader myself) when I heard of her death. It was the feeling of losing a very close friend.

Juleen Sippel, Queensland.

Steal Away to Bed!

Visiting Brisbane at the time of Camp Kumanka in 1967, rovers and rangers put on a dinner for Lady Baden-Powell at Riverside Ballroom. After dinner she took part in the campfire, taught and conducted one song which was well known to all the rovers and rangers present. None of the boys or girls let on they already knew it, such was her magnetism and charm. She conducted it standing at the front edge of the stage, vigorously waving her arms much to the con�cern of the two rovers who stationed themselves nearby ready to catch her should she fall. They tried very successfully to hide their concern but told me afterwards that they were sure she would launch herself off the stage in her vigour.

Visiting the camp, she spent the whole day there and with reluc�tance took a short rest after lunch. She was determined to meet every one of the 500 guiding people in camp. She stayed on for part of the campfire to which busloads of guiding and scouting people had come from as far away as Roma, Gladstone and northern New South Wales. Several thousand had gathered for the event. At the campfire she told a story about 'Hands' and what they could do, with everyone present hanging on her every word. At the end of the talk she mentioned that during some of the subsequent singing she was 'going HOME TO BED' � she 'DIDN'T LIKE IT anymore than any of YOU DO when you are TOLD TO GO TO BED! BUT I am going to STEAL AWAY during your singing AND I DO NOT WANT ANYONE TO GET UP OR EVEN NOTICE THAT I DO IT. JUST KEEP ON SINGING WHILE I STEAL AWAY TO BED!' (She talked in 'capital let�ters') Lady B.-P. did just that and not one brownie, cub, guide, scout or older person stood up or waved. It was magic!

Heather Beedell Queensland

Catch my Hat

Three times the Gympie brownies and guides were in Brisbane to see Lady Baden-I 1947, 1958 and 1967. What a thrill to meet her and feel they belonged, and that she was speaking to each one of us!

The 1947 visit was marked by tragedy on the railway, just north of Gympie, when the train carrying guides and brownies from division ploughed head on into a stationery train. Apart from and some bruises, the children suffered no serious injury, but were taken back to their homes. Mrs Theile who was in charge, assisted the injured, and Gympie leaders waiting for the train went out to offer help, but returned to continue their journey on another train.

Lady Baden-Powell was concerned about the incident but the rally, and meeting her, were something to remember. The next visit was the Chief's birthday in 1958 and nineteen Centenary Certificates were awarded, one coming to Gympie. Again there was a great crowd of children all with one accord, welcoming their Chief.

In May 1967, Lady Baden Powell arrived at Eagle Farm Airport to a tumultuous welcome, and again we were all there. Her personality attracted the love and respect of countless folk everywhere.

One occasion stands out in my mind when she climbed onto a table and flung her hat across the room, 'Here catch', she said and talked as a personal friend to everyone.

To me she said 'How old are you? You must be the younges t commissioner I've met'. I didn't tell her that when I toured around Hampton Court London I saw her nameplate on the door of her apartment, but probably missed a great opportunity of speaking to her when I was too shy to knock on it.

Jean Cornes, Queensland

The Last Impression

The Chief was always such an enthusiastic person, warm friendly and so very interested in people. She was what we'd call a 'joiner'. This incident relates to the last time she visited Western Australia. It rained. It always rained when she came to Western Australia. It was cold as well.

A rally had been organised for Saturday 25 June at the Perry Lakes Stadium. Girls had come from widespread country areas and there was the concern that as they assembled at the stadium, they would be very wet and very cold. So it was decided to have a warm-up activity in which everyone could join. The Chief � always greeting people: 'How are you? How are you?' � could see that the people were being asked to stand and they weren't, so she got up, and of course, then every one got up and did 'heads, shoulders, knees and toes'. When it was through the Chief called 'again' and everyone did it again. And so everyone was warm and happy and they sat down and the rally proceeded.

Now the next day the Chief was to leave by plane for London. All the goodbyes had been said, all the hands shaken and all the V.I.P.s kissed and she went up the gangway, stood at the top and waved, and of course everyone waved to her. One would think that that would be the end, but there at the doorway to the plane the Chief started 'heads, shoulders, knees and toes' and those back on the ground joined in.

That was the very last impression Australia had of her.

From the diary of the late Lorna Collins Western Australia, quoted in Guiding in Australia, May 1989.

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