Guides a hoot for Brown Owl

City Beach Girl Guides leader Claire White, AKA Brown Owl, with girl guides Kirsten Petterson, Zara Newton, Bella Corner, Ruby Corner, Victoria Lawson and Charlotte O’Beirne.
City Beach Girl Guides leader Claire White, AKA Brown Owl, with girl guides Kirsten Petterson, Zara Newton, Bella Corner, Ruby Corner, Victoria Lawson and Charlotte O’Beirne.

Mrs White started as a brownie leader in New South Wales the same year City Beach Girl Guides was founded.

She moved to City Beach in 1964, and has been helping girls learn new skills, earn badges and make new friends ever since.

‘I have been Brown Owl for so long that even my friends don’t call me Claire anymore,’ she said.

‘Grown women have come up to me and said, ‘Brown Owl!’ and I have to say, ‘yes, and who are you?’ because the last time I saw them they were just little.

‘People have told me that, when they look back on the big things in their life, what they learnt in guides helped them make important decisions and be self-sufficient, which is very nice.’

Mrs White said she has seen many changes in her time, particularly the last decade.

‘The girls are very adventurous and clever with technology so guiding is very up-to-date now,’ she said.