I joined the Catholic Girl Guides in Dublin in the 1960s. My company, Buion Padraig, met on Wednesday nights in Harrington Street – the Headquarters. Our captain was Carmel Gannon. Since my father had died and I was an only child, guiding became my second family. I could not wait to iron my brown uniform and first aid bandage which was formed into a tie. I was thrilled to win badges and compete in games. At this time, the Archbishop of Dublin would not allow guides to camp in tents. We had a house in Wicklow called Fern Hill. I remember two sisters, Mary O’Connor and Judy? O’Connor leading the Fern Hill bus trips with songs. One of them was the Everly Brothers “Bird Dog.” These were my teenage years and I loved them. The O’Connor sisters were leaders and I set my sights on becoming a captain like them.
Remembering Sister Guides
I have a photo of some of the guides from my company. I photographed them around a donkey. We had taken a “Mystery Train Ride” from Dublin to some other city. I remember the names and have put in brackets there later achievements.
Angela Keane (she became a nun), Carmel Keneally (she married and left for South Africa), Mary Condren (she obtained a doctorate from Harvard), Sheila Keating (fun loving – not sure about her adventures) and Maureen O’Connor (who, I think married).
My name was Pauline Gallagher at the time. I later went on to become an Assistant Captain to Audriel O’Sullivan in Fairview. Then I got my own company. I am legally married in Canada to an ex. Guide named Trish.
Like all emigrants, I cried when I left Ireland, but I carried so many fond memories of Guiding (and camogie). I played A League camogie for Presentation Convent, ex. students. (I was not an ex-student).
Living in Canada
I became a teacher and taught elementary and high school students. One of my abiding passions has been writing. I have three lesbian ebook stories on Amazon, Apple iBooks under the name ‘Paula Key.’ Now, I have reverted to my own name and have published children’s ebooks on these same sites.
“Mrs. Claus and the November Visit” won the short story Canadian Library Association’s competition and was subsequently published in an anthology “Winners Circle 6.” “Belinda’s Dandelion” is about bullying and the triumph of love and diversity over hatred and ignorance. “The Bouncing Blue Ball” is just a fun story of a dog’s lost ball. “Unicorns Come at Night” is a story about a dying horse – the ending is happy!
My children’s site -http://childrenandteensstoriestomotivateandinspire.com
I am on Facebook under both names. Please contact me. And to all my guiding sisters in Ireland and around the world – “thank you.”