Guiding lights, year in, year out

THE uniforms may have often changed over the years but the mission has not changed in 70 years for the Wodonga District Girl Guides.

And the 70th anniversary of the group is enough cause to celebrate that senior and junior members will parade next Saturday in uniforms dating from the 1930s.

Dresses, scarves and ties have been replaced by more practical attire such as polo shirts.

“The uniforms were much more tailored and there were more accessories,” Wodonga’s district manager Andrea Weppner said.

“Our girls don’t wear hats or knee-high socks — it’s not practical.”

Her daughter and Guide Sophie Weppner, 10, agreed.

“If we wore hats like these, they would just fall off when we ran around,” she said.

The group has contacted two former leaders, called lieutenants, at the time.

Jean Ryan and Margaret Eklund, who both live in Melbourne, were the first team leaders when Wodonga guides formed in 1944.

The pair are expected to attend on Saturday, along with 70 past leaders and guides from around Victoria and interstate.

Guests will be joined by today’s guides and their families.

Mrs Weppner said the Guides were still “very active” in Wodonga.

“Earlier this year, the girls and their leaders made and presented posies to new Australian citizens, participated in Clean Up Australia Day and took part in the Anzac Day remembrance activities,” she said.

They also participated in statewide activities.

The member for Indi Cathy McGowan, member for Benambra Bill Tilley and state commissioner for Girl Guides Victoria Lynne Emblin will attend the invitation-only event at The Valleys restaurant at Wodonga TAFE.