Guides pay tribute to their ‘guiding light’

Anne Collins.
Anne Collins.

Anne Collins, a stalwart supporter of Guiding in Sussex, has died aged 77.

Anne, from Henfield, formed the Guides’ Parkminster division, covering much of Horsham district, and played a key role in Henfield getting its own Guide Hut.

More recently she was chairman of the Henfield Trefoil Guild, the local branch of an international organisation of adults who support the Guides.

A statement from Henfield Girlguiding said she had been ‘a guiding light’.

“Anne was born in Surrey and moved to Sussex when she was 12,” it said. “She and Pat were married in 1957 and had three children – Sharron, Lesley and Sean.

“In 1961 Anne was looking for something to fill her spare time and started helping at 1st Henfield Guides, run by Peggy Whiting.

“Anne took over running the unit when Peggy moved to a new Guiding role within the newly formed Sussex Central County.

“In 1979 Anne formed a new division within the county – Parkminster – covering Henfield, Partridge Green, Cowfold, Lower Beeding and Southwater.

“She named the division after the local monastery whose spire could be seen from all areas of the division, and became the first Division Commissioner.

“Anne also held the role of Division Camp Adviser for some time.

“Camping, outdoor activities and campfire singing were her fortes, inspiring many Guides with her enthusiasm, skills and knowledge.

“International Guiding was also important to Anne and she visited all four of our World Guide Centres and went to Namibia on her own on a camping trip for her 70th birthday.

“In addition to being so active in Guiding at all levels Anne was also the main instigator for Henfield acquiring its own Guide Hut with tireless planning and perseverance on her part.

“After years of hard work by Anne and the BP Guild, with very little funds but loads of enthusiasm, the Guide Hut was opened in 1982.

“Now used by two Rainbow units, two Brownie Units, two Guide units and a large senior section - what a fabulous legacy to leave us with.

“Guide camp was the annual highlight and Anne was involved with the very first Scout and Guide International Camp at Ardingly – WS1980.

“Anne joined the Henfield Trefoil Guild, playing an active role to the very end as chairman, as well as helping out at unit meetings when asked.

“Her enthusiasm and skills will be sadly missed. She has inspired many girls to become leaders and has also encouraged them to take part in international opportunities within Guiding.

“Anne also managed to fit in golf, calligraphy, gardening, crafts, singing, Knotters Guild and many more activities as well as enjoying time with her husband Pat, her children and four grandchildren.

“Anne always did everything to the best of her ability, keeping her Guide promise always.

“She leaves a big hole in Henfield and will be missed by everyone whose lives she touched.”

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