Date of Issue
September 12, 1985
Perforation or Dimension
13.5 x 13
British American Bank Note Company.
Designed by Barbara Griffin.
With its 275,000 members, the Girl Guides of Canada - Guides du Canada is the largest organization for girls and women in the country. This postage stamp marks the 75th anniversary of its foundation. The origins of guiding date back to the first Boy Scout rally in September 1909, at the Crystal Palace, an exhibition centre in London, England. Among the boisterous crowd of 11,000 boys, Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the father of scouting, was surprised to find a small group of girls calling themselves "Girl Scout". Intrigued by their presence, he asked a few questions and recognized their determination to participate in scouting. Thus, two months later, he published a pamphlet establishing the Girl Guides. Baden-Powell appointed his sister Agnes to lead the organization. Later his wife Olave helped organize the movement at the international level. Many parents of the day, however, balked at the idea of their daughters, dressed in heavy hiking boots, badges, belts, and ties, striking out on adventurous camping expeditions under the stars. The concept of guiding was difficult for many to accept, because it did not fit in with their idea of ladylike deportment. On this point Baden-Powell replied, "Girls don't want to be dolls; they have ambitions beyond that..." Despite the problems, groups of Guides formed across the country soon after the appearance of the first Scout troops. In 1910 there were already four companies of Guides registered in Canada at Moose Jaw, St. Catharines, Toronto and Winnipeg. Later les "Guides Catholiques du Canada", which were formed to meet the needs of French-speaking Roman Catholics, affiliated themselves with the national movement. Total registered units today number close to 13,000. The aim of the Girl Guide movement is "character development toward happy citizenship" in girls, regardless of colour, race, or religion. Toronto artist Barbara Griffin's conception was that of girls helping one another, and the sisterly responsibility of older Guides toward younger girls - one characteristic of the training methods of the Girl Guide movement.
Canada Post Corporation. [Postage Stamp Press Release], 1985.
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