Remarkable Women: Joy O’Grady

This post’s Remarkable Women of Girl Guides WA is Joy O’Grady. Joy recalls life as a Ranger.

Joy O'Grady

Joy O’Grady

“I can recall camping with our Ranger unit about 1955.  We caught a train to Midland and then followed a map to a farming property.  As we were travelling by train we had to dress in best uniform complete with stockings.  Unfortunately the map reader fell in a river and that was the end of the map!   We wandered until nearly midnight through many paddocks filled with cattle and we were quite worried about bulls. After climbing through several wire fences our stockings were not in good condition but we arrived at our destination.

We slept in tents and erected a hessian latrine, and were warned not to take a torch in with us as we would be in a slideshow.  We cooked interesting meals including a spotted dog which was a rice pudding with sultanas and which we lowered down a well to cool.

Another highlight was the being the flag bearer at the march past for Lady Baden-Powell’s visit.  We were challenged to erect a ring of tents at speed, but when mine went up it was the wrong way round and I had to do it again.

I attended an International Ranger Jamboree in Victoria. When we arrived at the venue we had to pour boiling water down all the holes we could find to kill the huge black snakes that were there. Although we had been instructed not to take any water in to our tents as it would encourage the snakes, one day it was so hot that I couldn’t resist having a bowl inside the tent to sit in.  When I was walking around at dusk I felt something slippery under my foot and I screamed.  Another Ranger came to the rescue, but luckily it had only been a grass snake.  We met many girls from other countries and some Asian girls performed a dance routine where two of them clapped long sticks together and two others stepped in and out in time to the music.

There are so many memories of our time in Rangers. We kept in touch for many years as our children grew up, and now we have reformed as the Anson Trefoil Guild and the family is back together again.”

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