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  • Education Minister, the Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has called on the Girl Guides Association of Jamaica to strengthen its resolve to begin organising troops from as early as possible in the primary schools.
  • The principles of the movement will be embedded in the consciousness of the children from the earliest stage.
  • Rev. Thwaites joined hundreds of Girl Guides, Brownies and Rangers at the thanksgiving service held at the same venue where the movement began 100 years ago.

Education Minister, the Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has called on the Girl Guides Association of Jamaica to strengthen its resolve to begin organising troops from as early as possible in the primary schools, so that the principles of the movement will be embedded in the consciousness of the children from the earliest stage.

He issued the charge as he addressed the launch of the association’s centenary celebrations on Sunday, January 18, at the historic Cathedral of St. Jago de la Vega in Spanish Town, St. Catherine under the theme: ‘Fuelling the Guiding Flame’.

Rev. Thwaites joined hundreds of Girl Guides, Brownies and Rangers at the thanksgiving service held at the same venue where the movement began 100 years ago.

The atmosphere was alive with the sights and sounds of the uniform groups, who proudly displayed their colours and renewed their promise to do their duty to God, serve their country, help other people and keep the Guide Law.

The Education Minister hailed the group’s focus on order and discipline, as the basis of its activities, noting that these values were also at the heart of the education system.

He noted that statistical evidence shows that persons, who join uniform and church groups, do better socially and academically than those who are not affiliated with such groups.

Rev. Thwaites pledged increased support from the Ministry to the movement and encouraged churches, Parent-Teacher Associations (PTA) and people of goodwill, to foster and support the uniform groups.

He also encouraged more young ladies to join the Girl Guides, noting that “you are doing something good for yourselves by this association. It will serve you well.”

Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, in a message read by Custos of St. Catherine, Hon. Sophia Azan, also congratulated the Association.

“Over the past century, you have moulded generations of young women to live a life of dedicated service built on sound values and principles of discipline, integrity, and caring and sharing. Your work has influenced many lives, families and communities in Jamaica which makes this milestone even more deserving of celebration,” he said.

The Governor-General further noted that organisations such as the Girl Guides Association of Jamaica remain essential to the society as young people and at risk-youth in particular, are prepared to effectively and confidently serve their communities and their nation.

“Their engagement with the vision for building our country will boost their pride and commitment to Jamaica. Our nation cannot achieve its goal and objectives without the contribution of our young people,” he said.

Delivering the message, Bishop of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, the Rt. Rev. Howard Gregory, noted that the anniversary provides the opportunity to “recall the founders, celebrate achievements, and “examine closely what we have today so that this generation can improve on it even as we plan for the future.”

He hailed the impact of the movement, noting that the institution is important to the holistic development of the country’s girls.

The Girl Guides Association of Jamaica is a social organisation that empowers girls and young women to be confident leaders within their communities.

Its mission is to assist in the development of girls and young women to reach their fullest potential; and to contribute significantly to the community, nationally and internationally.

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