Cleveland Girl Guides mark 65 years in former WWII army barrack

A FORMER World War II barrack has been the site of countless precious memories for Redlands girls in the last 65 years.

Cleveland district manager Lahnie Robinson said the hut, now on Island Street, had started its life as a food and ammunition barrack on Stradbroke Island during World War II, before being donated to the Girl Guides by Kathleen Riordan, wife of late Labor MP Bill Riordan.

It has been used by the Cleveland Girl Guides since 1956.

Ms Robinson said the hut was undergoing a $35,000 renovation from funds received from the state government's community gambling benefit fund for air-conditioning, new windows and external wall cladding.

"This renovation will provide the girls with a modern, revamped, cool space that is safe and appropriate for our current climate," Ms Robinson said.

It comes after the Guides held a Christmas fundraiser in 2017 to repair the roof.

While it has been a tough year for many organisations and clubs, the Guides have powered through, holding unit meetings over Zoom and sending packages.

Ms Robinson said Girl Guides built encouraged self-confidence, community spirit and leadership, and had programs for children aged between 5 and 17.

Girls took part in community service activities like Clean Up Australia Day and Anzac parades, as well as supporting local organisations including Meals on Wheels, Night Ninjas and bush care.

"Our program ... is flexible and offers values-based training in life skills, decision-making and good citizenship qualities," Ms Robinson said.

"Cleveland Girl Guides provides community service by engaging leaders, the girls and their families to participate in activities that benefit the wider community.

"We also have fundraising initiatives on site that ... benefit the community such as collection (and) recycling of cans and bottles and Lifeline donation bins."

She said volunteer positions were also available for older community members.

"We always need leaders (and) our older community should consider us a volunteer opportunity," she said.

"The skills they have and could be passing on are invaluable."

Girl Guides units in the Redlands include Wellington Point, Victoria Point, Cleveland and Capalaba.

Cleveland Girl Guides has programs including:

  • Gumnuts, aged 5 to 7
  • Brownies, aged 7 to 10
  • Guides, aged 10 to 13
  • Rangers, aged 14 to 17

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