Murray Bridge Guides farewell their Brown Owl, Josaphine Saint

A farewell will be held at the Standen Street Guide hall this Sunday for Murray Bridge Guide leader Josaphine Saint, known to many as "Brown Owl", who has resigned from the unit after 47 years.

Her service led to Ms Saint being named Murray Bridge's citizen of the year in 2010, and she received the Emu Award, the highest award for Guides in South Australia, in 1995.

She also earned an adult leadership award, a GAALA Award, her training certificate and, in 1987, the Guides' Wattle Award; and was a member of the Owls Council.

Her daughter Tanya and granddaughters Jordana and Rochelle have all followed her footsteps into Guides.

Ms Saint became a Girl Guide as a member of the Strathalbyn Company in 1956.

When her daughter Tanya joined the 1st Murray Bridge Brownie Pack, then-leader Marie McCue asked her to help out, starting her many years with the unit, first as assistant leader for seven years, then as leader for more than 40 years.

Ms Saint has seen many changes during her time with the unit, from handbooks to five different uniforms.

She wrote even handbooks which were in use for several years for the Brownie section.

She joined the state training team and travelled all around South Australia for 22 years, training other leaders.

She also took on the roles of district leader and regional leader for seven years while still running the unit and training sessions.

As leader she earned both indoor and outdoor camping qualifications and took girls, and sometimes their mums and dads, on many fun weekends away.

She organised activity days and reunions for the Murray Mallee region and helped local Guides participate in state events.

The unit has been part of the Murray Bridge Christmas pageant every year for 47 years; for 40 of them, Ms Saint made all the costumes and float decorations

She designed the unit's indoor camp badge, the Murray Mallee district, division and region badges, the eastern region badge, and the gates for the front of the Guides' hall.

With the help of grants and a lot of fundraising each year, especially by Ms Saint, the hall and gardens have been renovated and air conditioners installed.

Ms Saint will continue her connection with Guides as.a member of the Trefoil Guild.

  • RSVP for the farewell: Call 0447 094 073 by Friday.