OTD: Girl Guides’ 50th anniversary marked by Post Office Department

On today’s date in 1960, Canada’s Post Office Department (now Canada Post) issued a five-cent stamp commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Girl Guides movement in Canada.

Girl Guides can trace its roots back to 1909, when Lord Baden-Powell – the man who also established Scouts – founded the association in Great Britain. Within a year, “guiding” had made its way Canada, and the first company was formed in St. Catharines, Ont.

Other companies followed soon after.

“As the opportunities for training and development of girls offered by the organization were recognized, the Association spread through the Provinces,” reads a press release issued by the post office in 1960. “In 1912 a Dominion Council was set up and five years later the Canadian Council of the Girl Guides Association was incorporated.”

In 1961, the organization officially changed its name to Girl Guides of Canada.


“Another feature of the Canadian Guides is that they have most northerly Company in the world,” reads the 1960 press release. “The Aklavik group was founded in 1937 and was the first of the far north groups, some of which have Eskimo members.

“The ideals of good citizenship and the establishment and maintenance of friendly international relations promoted by the Guides have been emphasized at three national and one world camp held in Canada. The first national camp was at Victoria in 1928, and the second at Rothesay, N.B. in 1939. In 1952 Canadian Guides and their guests from countries of the Western Hemisphere enjoyed camping together at Ottawa. One of the four world camps in celebration of the centenary of the birth of Lord Baden-Powell was held in Canada in 1957 at Doe Lake, Ont., with representatives of many countries among those in attendance.

“An interesting link between the Girl Guides and the Canada Post Office is the postal badge earned by Guides who demonstrate a knowledge of good mailing practices. The Guides’ co-operation is mutually advantageous as proper addressing and packaging of mail matter permits prompt and efficient handling by the Post Office.”

The stamp (Scott #389) was designed by Helen Roberta Fitzgerald. The stamp’s picture and lettering were engraved by John F. Mash.

A Permanent stamp issued by Canada Post in 2010 marks the 100th anniversary of Girl Guides in Canada.


In 2010, Canada Post issued a Permanent stamp commemorating the 100th anniversary of Girl Guides.

“I wanted the stamp’s design to speak to the spirit of the Guiding movement, with an emphasis on three of the organization’s core values: inclusiveness, friendship and fun,” said Derwyn Goodall, of Toronto’s Adams and Associates Design Consultants. “The photograph of two girls sharing a moment reflects how the GGC brings these values to life for its members.”

The photograph also features the Girl Guides’ official colours.

The stamp as well as the first-day cover feature girls at all five levels of Guiding (Sparks, Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders and Rangers). Badges are scattered across the stamp and booklet.

“They’re symbolic of the fun and sense of achievement that can come from setting goals, overcoming challenges and learning something new,” added Goodall.

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