This Remarkable Woman of Girl Guides WA is Dagmara Krasting. Dagmara was a key person in a special Brownie tradition. Can you guess what it was?
Dagmara was a Brownie Leader in her native Estonia before coming to Australia. After living through the outbreak of the Russian Revolution, the occupation of her country by German forces in 1914 to 1918, and its eventual separation from Russia she left her homeland to begin a new life elsewhere. She went first to France, then Britain and then Sydney (where she married Boris Krasting known as Mr Brown Owl to her Brownies). Later she moved to Kalgoorlie, having had little contact with Guiding in that time.
To put in her own delightful idiom: “One day a lady came to my door and said ‘I believe you were a Guider in Europe’ How did she know? They’ve got the best spy system in the world!”
Spy system or not, Guiding is international and Dagmara took the 3rd Brownie Pack from its beginning until its absorption in to the 4th Kalgoorlie Pack. She was also District Commissioner in 1952. Although her years in uniform were brief, her influence was tremendous, as her door was always open to Guides and Leaders for the whole time she was in Kalgoorlie, until her husband’s retirement.
She had an excellent relationship with the Aboriginal people, the tribal elders imparting many secrets not known to women. It was from them she learned the “not-so-secret’ name of the Aboriginal gnomes and fairies and she expressed the wish that they could be worn in Brownie Packs. That wish became a reality in the 4th Kalgoorlie Brownie Pack and was later adopted Australia wide.
Story taken from “Guiding on the Goldfields.”
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