A08 Jean Cornes
Catch my Hat
Three times the Gympie brownies and guides were in Brisbane to see Lady-Baden 1947, 1958 and 1967. What a thrill to meet her and feel they belonged, and that she was speaking to each one of us!
The 1947 visit was marked by tragedy on the railway, just north of Gympie, when the train carrying guides and brownies from division ploughed head on into a stationery train. Apart from and some bruises, the children suffered no serious injury, but were taken back to their homes. Mrs Theile who was in charge, assisted the injured, and Gympie leaders waiting for the train went out to offer help, but returned to continue their journey on another train.
Lady Baden-Powell was concerned about the incident but the rally, and meeting her, were something to remember. The next visit was the Chief's birthday in 1958 and nineteen Centenary Certificates were awarded, one coming to Gympie. Again there was a great crowd of children all with one accord, welcoming their Chief.
In May 1967, Lady Baden Powell arrived at Eagle Farm Airport to a tumultuous welcome, and again we were all there. Her personality attracted the love and respect of countless folk everywhere.
One occasion stands out in my mind when she climbed onto a table and flung her hat across the room, 'Here catch', she said and talked as a personal friend to everyone.
To me she said 'How old are you? You must be the youngest commissioner I've met'. I didn't tell her that when I toured around Hampton Court London I saw her nameplate on the door of her apartment, but probably missed a great opportunity of speaking to her when I was too shy to knock on it.