History Facts of Guiding in Trinidad and Tobago
Guiding at St. Hilary’s – Bishop’s Anstey High School – POS
Guiding at St. Hilary’s – Bishop’s Anstey High School – POS
It was during the 3rd term of 1921, that Guiding was started at St. Hilary’s. We have to thank Miss. Gladys C. Mallalieu, a former Guider at Codrington High School, who was then a resident at Marli House, where the school used to be. She was the founder of this Company and to her must be given the credit, or at least some of it, that 3rd Port of Spain Company was active for over Twenty-One (21) Years. During this period no fewer than Three Hundred (300) Guides had belonged to the Company.
The 14th October, 1921 was the eventful day when 3rd Port of Spain Company, was registered, and soon over Sixty (60) girls of the school were enrolled. How smart they must have looked in their navy tunics with white sailor collars, school skirts and panama hats which were afterward replaced by broad felt hats with chin straps. Pretty soon everyone was hard at work learning Morse, tying knots and all the rest of it. In this, Miss Allport and Miss Rainforth, names which I am sure are familiar to at least a few Guides and old Girls, assisted Miss Mallalieu.
Soon after, the school was removed to Dundonald Street, and owing to lack of suitable playing fields, the Guides were allowed to hold their meetings at Hayes Court. There were Six (6) Patrols all named after birds – Skylark, Canary, Bluebird, Hummingbird, Bantam and Wren – the Boarders’ Patrol – so named because the Wren is a house bird. This Patrol is no longer in existence and today there are just Five (5) Patrols.
In 1922, the school, for the first time, competed with other Companies for the Leigh-Hunt Shield and won it. It was again won in 1933 and 1937. Four years later the 1st Cadet Patrol, now Guiders, was formed in Trinidad, the other West Indian islands and Canada. That year was a very eventful one for our Guides, who were taken to Caledonia by Miss Mallalieu and later on to Macqueripe. The other event was the presentation of the Patrol Cup to the Guides by His Lordship the Bishop. This interesting incident is recalled in the verse of our Company Song which goes
“We tender out thanks to His Lordship (Vive La Companie) for the gift of a beautiful silver-patrol cup”
And this is how it happened. The hall, which is now rented by Mrs. Rust, had been burnt down and the Bishop lived in the part of the building nearest to the chapel and the kitchen. Usually in the afternoon His Lordship spent his time in moving away logs from the burnt building and the Guides usually assisted him, and one afternoon he presented them with a Silver Cup which was his Christening Cup. He gave it on condition that the Cup should remain in this Company always, and if ever the Company were disbanded that it was to be returned to him.
In 1930 the Guides won the Lady Wilson Sports Cup which is now held by 5th POS Company, and also a small cup for games. On the 11th birthday of the Company, the Guides gave the school our present House Cup.
In 1934 our first Brownie Pack was formed under the Brown Owl Anne Lumsden and Tawny Owl Ethel Smith who is the present Brown Owl. The Brownies are now beginning to be so active that Dorothy Ferreira and June Rawlins have gained their wings.
In 1939 we celebrated the Silver Jubilee of Guiding in Trinidad. The celebration lasted a whole week and Guides from all the other neighbouring islands were invited. It was a lovely time for everyone. There was a Thanksgiving service that first morning and in the afternoon a Grand Parade in the Queen’s Royal College grounds. Where there was a March Past followed by a play and then a presentation of medals and badges to Guiders and Guides. This interested us most for it was then that Joyce Rawlins one of the first two Guides to gain 1st Class Badges in Trinidad, received her 1st Class Badge. The other was won by Helen Philips, of 2nd POS Company who incidentally, was also a pupil of St Hilary’s. Every day meant something new for us and we spent a great deal of our time entertaining the Out-Islanders. There was a lovely campfire concert, then sports for the Guides and a visit to the cinema. On the whole it was an unforgettable week.
One of the highlights of 1941 was the visit of Mrs. Leigh-White, Secretary of the World Bureau. She was touring the South American countries with the object of fostering a better relationship between guides of North and South America. She arrived in Trinidad on 24th March. There was a rally for her at which she told us about the Juliette Low Foundation and of Camp Andree, and presented several of our girls with War Service Badges, which were given to Guides who had done Ninety-Six (96) hours War Work during the year. The other highlight of 1941 for us happened in July. Trinidad received an invitation for two representatives to attend the Girl Scout Western Hemisphere Encampment at Camp Bonnie Brae and one of the Guides chosen was Joyce Crooks of our Company. They arrived in New York along with other representatives of the West Indies and South America on July 28th and if we all had been invited we could not have been more excited. Among other people the Guides met there was Mrs. Roosevelt.
Not long after this, the company came under the competent leadership of Misses Dorothy Creteau and Elsie Creteau, the Captain and Lieutenant, who have been with us now for twenty-five years and are still going strong.
Guide meetings take place once a week on Monday afternoons from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.. The subscription is Thirty ($0.30) Cents per term and Guides also pay a Twenty-Five ($0.25) Cents National Levy annually. On 22nd February every year, the Guides celebrate Thinking Day to commemorate Lord Baden-Powell’s birthday. In October every year the 3rd P.O.S. Guides hold a tea-party as their contribution the B.A.H.S. building fund. At Christmas these Guides collect food and gifts for members of institutions, as their annual Good Turn. Other Guide activities have included an Easter Holiday Camp in April 1970 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Guiding. At which the school company was represented by Linda Dyer and Patricia Sampson. Also in April of last year, the Guides served at a tea party at the Y.W.C.A.
The main aim of Guiding is character building. The Guide Law and Promise which are to be upheld and kept strictly, support the aim of Guiding. Guiding also helps to bring the girls of the school together at least once a week. The 3rd P.O.S. Guide Company consists of not only the girls of B.A.H.S., but also of the girls from St. Hilary’s Monte Cristo. At the end of a guiding career, one’s character should be well developed, and one should be a more, well-rounded person.