2017 is the 90th anniversary of Girl Guides in ACT and surrounding areas. A number of events have been planned for our currentWhen Robert Baden-Powell, the hero of Mafeking (South Africa), wrote Scouting for Boys on six fortnightly parts in 1908, he had no thoughts that he might be starting a new movement for boys, let alone a world-wide movement. Still less was his intention to found an international movement for girls. Nonetheless, that is just what he did.
Among those few girls who tagged along behind the boys at the Crystal Palace Rally in 1909 demanding that they also be inspected, was one who would travel halfway round the world and lay the foundations of Guiding in New South Wales. By coincidence, in 1909, the Limestone Plains was finally chosen as the site for the Australian Capital Territory. Nella Levy was at the Crystal Palace Rally as a patrol leader, and later came to Sydney, where in 1920, at the request of the wife of the Governor of New South Wales, she accepted the challenge of establishing Guiding in the area. She recruited and trained the first leaders – the ‘Pioneers’ – and started the first Sydney guide companies including 1st Mosman and 1st Bondi.
Nella Levy (later known as ‘the Lev’), while Captain of 1st Mosman Guide Company, had as one of her guides, Ruth Reynolds (later de Plater). In 1940, Ruth with her husband and two children, moved to Canberra where she continued to take an active part in Guiding until her death in 1981.
Nella Levy also moved to Canberra with her husband (Mr Merivale) and settled at the historic ‘Lambrigg’, which is on the Murrumbidgee River near Point Hut crossing.