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Dateline Cowichan: QMS founder Guiding light for local Scouting

Students from the Queen Margaret’s School equestrian program, pictured here in 1957. Sally Gowing, Yvonne Scott and Heather Barnes re three of the students pictured. - courtesy Queen Margaret’s School
Students from the Queen Margaret’s School equestrian program, pictured here in 1957. Sally Gowing, Yvonne Scott and Heather Barnes re three of the students pictured.
— image credit: courtesy Queen Margaret’s School

My first job in Duncan in the ‘60s was as a junior French and English teacher under the watchful eye of Miss Margaret Glide, an enthusiastic redhead who had just replaced the Misses Denny and Geoghegan as headmistress of Queen Margaret’s School.

Dorothy Geoghegan was still on staff then, continuing to teach Latin while the older Norah Denny enjoyed retirement in their Brownsey Avenue home. I learned later of Denny’s second career in the Scout and Guide movements. In May 1946, the former QMS co-head was honoured personally by World Chief Guide Lady Baden-Powell with the highest Canadian honour in Guiding, the Beaver Badge.

More than 600 people saw the presentation during a rally at Nanaimo to welcome Lady Baden-Powell who was touring North America. Lady Baden-Powell also paused briefly in Duncan and at the Solarium in Mill Bay during her visit.

“Lady Baden-Powell’s visit was truly a personal one for every girl present,” said Denny.

Denny was one of the first lady Scoutmasters in Great Britain, her connection beginning in 1911. A year later, she started Guides and ran Scouts and Guides together.

1946: firefighters

After 26 years’ service with Duncan volunteer Fire Department, Hector Marsh announced his retirement from the department as captain and financial secretary to devote more time to business and aldermanic duties.

1946: health care

Cowichan Health Centre was about to pass out of existence and would become a sub-unit of the Central Vancouver Island Health Unit, said organization president Mrs. H. Graham at the 26th annual meeting of the centre.

1946: the press

For the third time in the past 21 years, Hugh Savage, director of the Cowichan Leader Ltd. was chosen to join the Canadian delegation to the London gathering of representatives of the press of the empire, known as the Imperial Press Conference.

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