Doreen Ahow was a member of the 13th Port-of-Spain Girl Guide Company under Captain Delcia Boland who was assisted by Ranger Margaret Inniss. Meetings were held at the Guide Hut at Girl Guides Headquarters at Belmont Circular Road, Port of Spain.
She earned badges for knotting, cycling, walking, sewing, first aid and cooking and enjoyed many outings with the guides – day camps and campfires. The outing that stands out is the one at Government House to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of King George V Coronation.
Doreen said “when World War II started, our company spent many hours gathering cotton, sewing and stuffing pillows and sewing surgical masks. We also spent a lot of time collecting and stacking silver paper. All of which was for the war effort.” “We even went into action to prepare sleeping quarters at the Guide Hut for some of the passengers who were rescued when a German U-Boat torpedoed a ship in the Port-of-Spain Harbor”.
She ceased to attend meetings when she started to work at the US Naval Base at Chaguaramas in 1941 when she turned 16 years old.
Crystal Hinkson at age eleven, became a Girl Guide and her enrollment occurred on 22nd May, 1936 in the 12th Barbados Company at the Westbury Girls’ School. The Captain at that time was Miss Edna Fields. In the following year, 1937, Crystal was industrious at guiding duties and obtained the Needle Woman's and Laundress Badges. Also, in 1937 although she was still the young Guide her assiduousness resulted in her obtaining the award of the Second Class Badge. Crystal’s connection with guiding went on even when she came to Trinidad some years later that did not end her love for and involvement in guiding.
In 1941, Crystal pursued her vocation, joined the 1st Tranquility Guide Company, to continue her Girl Guiding journey. Some years later, in 1956, she became the Tawny Owl of the 1st San Juan Brownie Guide Pack with Miss Ethel Ferguerson. Crystal's calling and gifting in guiding persevered and she became the Brown Owl with this Brownie Guide Pack. Her guiding career moved onward and upward and Mrs. Hinkson went on to be the Guide Captain with the 1st San Juan Guide Company.
Notably, there are many memories from Crystal's guiding profession and several awards and certificates that showed that Crystal continued to be a true and committed Guider. Some of Mrs. Hinkson's milestones include being a part of the 60th Anniversary International celebration with her attendance at the International Camp at Orange Grove in 1964; obtaining the Life Saving Certificate with Mrs. La Salle in 1965 then a decade later, in 1974, the 70th Jubliee International Camp at Tobago. 1974 was also the year in which Crystal became the District Commissioner to the Santa Cruz District. Some time later, Crystal became the San Juan Division’s Commissioner. Mrs. Hinkson was also a member of the Training Team.
Ensuring that Girl Guides were equipped with skills to serve their country, the Girl Guide Movement, their family and all others, made Crystal participate in camping often. Through camping, the fellowship, the insights and training shared made Mrs. Hinkson take up the challenge of obtaining her Campers’ Licence and Crystal accomplished this on March 16th, 1976. Two years later, the gifting of handicraft that Crystal excelled in resulted in the appointment to the position of Handicraft Trainer on June 5th, 1978. Mrs. Hinkson passion for Girl Guiding led Crystal’s on to be the Handicraft Commissioner in 1980. Those who know Mrs. Hinkson will attest that it is the girls who moved up the guiding ranks, her fellowship with them and the experience she shared in guiding and life that Mrs. Hinkson treasures the most.
Crystal's guiding years were well-spent serving, teaching and grooming others. Additionally, she made many friends in the guiding movement; just to name a few - Roline Lemmers of Suriname, Dr. Ethel Mc Fail of Canada, Joy Bramble originally from Montserrat now residing in the USA and Amy West of Antigua now deceased. Crystal is now a retired yet still participative attendant in major guiding events.
Her service and dedication as a Guider resulted in recognition of her valuable contribution to the Girl Guide Movement by Girl Guides Association in 2004; this honour and the memoirs that went before, all to the glory of God, encapsulates the guiding biography of Mrs. Crystal Hinkson.