A Guiding Light

A Guiding Light
Retirement Living

Introducing the compassionate and committed individuals behind our village Girl Guides group.

8th June 2024

The original Burswood Trefoil Guild commenced in 1999, with members meeting at the local St. Barnabas Church or at the house of another member; but after SwanCare became home to several of the Guides, the group decided it was time to find a new HQ. 

Since June of 2010, the Burswood Bentley Trefoil Guild established itself as part of the village. Staying true to their roots, the group not only welcomes SwanCare retirement living residents, but continues to accept members from the wider Perth region; providing a space for women to build lifelong friendships, all while supporting some excellent causes. 

One of their longest standing members is resident Lorraine Pittaway who was awarded her long service badge in August of last year, after demonstrating 45 years of dedication and commitment to the Girl Guides Association. 

“I made my Girl Guides promise at 11 years old and I’ve never looked back,” says Lorraine, “It was one of the best decisions I ever made.” 

For resident Emilia Young, her promise was made in Singapore. Due to Girl Guides having a global presence, it helped her find a sense of community when she eventually migrated to Australia seven years ago. 

“I read there was a group available for older ladies, so I reached out and I’ve been part of it ever since,” Emilia said, “I don’t think I could ever give up Guiding!” 

Resident Beverley Melton says Emilia’s story is a great example of how being a Guide can bring people together from just about every corner of the planet. 

“When I lived in England I was appointed as the District Commissioner for their Girl Guides, since being here I’ve also travelled to Hobart where we met Guides from across Australia. It’s worldwide.” 

There was a moment in time though where Beverley thought her days of being a Guide had come to an end. However, after moving to SwanCare ten years ago and seeing the Burswood Bentley Trefoil Guild in action, her passion was reignited. 

“I saw them with their flags during a village ceremony or service of some sort, and I recognised one of the members. After having a conversation with her I realised it was time to come back, so I joined the Trefoil, or as I sometimes call it, ‘The Girl Guide Granny’s’!” She laughed. 

Beverley, Emilia and Lorraine join their fellow Girl Guides for a morning tea in the Pavilion on the first Wednesday of every month. Together they discuss various fundraising opportunities and brainstorm ideas on how they can continue to support the local community. 

It was during one of these monthly meetings where the suggestion to host a Beetle Afternoon was first brought to the table. The event invites residents to The Club for a sociable afternoon to play the popular party game ‘Beetle’, with prizes, raffle tickets, afternoon tea, and a craft stall included. 

While the initial idea was heavily supported by the group, they knew the success of the event was ultimately left in the hands of our SwanCare community – and they did not disappoint! 

“I had never heard a room filled with so much laughter until we held our first Beetle Afternoon! It’s always a fun day,” said Lorraine. 

“It’s a great way to bring everyone in the village together for a chance to play and have some fun,” Emilia added. 

Since then, the Beetle Afternoon has been a staple for the Trefoil and remains one of Bentley Park’s most popular events on the social calendar. Not only is it an enjoyable experience but it also makes a meaningful difference, with all donations going towards a charity of their choosing. 

“The money raised from our most recent Beetle Afternoon went to the Girl Guides’ ‘Lend a Hand’ program,” explains Lorraine, “the program provides financial support to families, enabling more young girls across Australia to join their local Guide Movement.” 

“We’ve also supported women’s refuges and various charities for children in need. I think it’s good to do while we have the means, it’s far more useful than sitting around drinking tea and gossiping!” Emilia laughed. 

When they aren’t busy fundraising, the ladies can be found socialising and sharing a laugh; something Beverley and Lorraine say is a key part of being a Girl Guide. 

“It’s a good group to join if you’re passionate about supporting some great causes, but more than that, it’s a social club,” said Lorraine, “Friendship is mainly what you get out of it.” 

Emilia agreed, “We’re comrades so to speak, you feel a genuine sense of belonging and pride. The Girl Guides Founder once shared a quote that said, ‘Our difference in life is to be happy and make others happy,’ which I think sums us up best.” 

We couldn’t agree more! Well done to all of you and thank you for the incredible work you do at SwanCare and among the wider community. 


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