Wodonga Girl Guides lead the way across generations

Margaret Eklund, who has been involved with Guides for 83 years, shows Rachel Cooper, 8, from Baranduda, photographs from the history of Girl Guides in Wodonga. Picture: KYLIE ESLER

Margaret Eklund, who has been involved with Guides for 83 years, shows Rachel Cooper, 8, from Baranduda, photographs from the history of Girl Guides in Wodonga. Picture: KYLIE ESLER

MORE than eight decades separate Margaret Eklund and Rachel Cooper, but they have one thing in common — Girl Guides.

The pair were among more than 100 past and present guides and their families to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Wodonga District Girl Guides on Saturday.

Mrs Eklund, who lives in Melbourne, was the group’s second leader, and enjoyed the event’s fashion parade of uniforms through the ages.

“They have changed so much, we used to wear a navy dress that had pockets and a red tie,” she said.

“They are terrific today because they are much more modern.”

Mrs Eklund had a daughter and grandchildren follow in her footsteps as Guides.

However she said there was more scope for children to do many activities these days.

“The numbers for the Guides and Scouts were a lot greater back in the day,” she said.

“The kids nowadays have many other things to keep them busy like sport or learning an instrument.

“Much to my disappointment, my great grandchildren are taking part in karate and learning the piano.”

The group’s first leader, Jean Ryan, of Melbourne, was also there.

“It’s been a great day,” she said.

“It’s great to reminisce and see some familiar faces.”

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