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    Merle Bush, courtesy of Guides Victoria Archives.
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Bush, Muriel Evelyn (Merle E) (1897 - 1981)

OBE

Born
9 March 1897
Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia
Died
1 January 1981
Occupation
Community worker

Summary

Merle Bush devoted over 50 years of her life to the Victoria Guide Movement. During that time she developed training programs for leaders in Victoria and interstate. In the New Year's Honours List for 1956, Bush was appointed an Officer of the British Empire (Civil) for her services to the Girl Guide Movement.

Details

Always known as Merle E Bush, she was named on her birth certificate as Muriel Evelyn Bush.

Merle grew up with very good memories of life in the early days of Victoria, as both her grandfathers had 'Produce Stores' which supplied vast areas in the state of Victoria. Her paternal grandfather's store was in Bendigo and from there he supplied goods from Northern Victoria and Southern Riverina, using Paddle Steamers along the Murray from Echuca. On the other hand her maternal grandfather's store was situated in Bairnsdale and with the aid of a steam ship, which he built himself, called the J. C. D. he traded through the Gippsland Lakes and coastal ports to Melbourne.

Bush was educated at Girton, a Church of England Grammar School, where in 1915 she became the school's Head Prefect.

Her involvement with the Girl Guide movement lasted nearly 60 years. She helped establish and was the first Guide Leader of the 1st Bendigo Guide Company. Later Bush organized Guide rallies to see Lord and Lady Baden Powell during their visits to the State of Victoria, as well as developing Camping and Training programmes.

Acting State Secretary for eight years, Bush was awarded the Chief Guide's Diploma for Training (the only one to be awarded in Australia) as well as becoming a life member of the State Council of the Victorian Girl Guide Association during the 1940s.

Following her death in 1981 a new Trefoil Guild was formed in Bendigo and called the Merle Bush T.G. It was registered on June 18, 1981.

(Source: information supplied by Guides Victoria archives)

Events

9 March 1897
Born: daughter of Samuel Albert and Nina Marie (nee Dahlsen) Bush
1915
Head Prefect, Church of England Grammar School, Girton
1922
First Guide Leader of 1st Bendigo Guide Company
1922
Founded Guiding in Bendigo
1923
Nominated for special leadership training at the First Victorian Training Week
1923
Honorary Secretary for Bendigo Local Association
1923
Gained the Campers Licence
1923
District Secretary
1924
Gained first Training Diploma (Blue Cord)
1924
First Brownie Leader of 1st Bendigo Brownie Pack
1925
Appointed the Head of Brownies in Victoria
1925
Attended the first All Australian Camp for Leaders
1926
Appointed the first Training Advisor for Victoria
1926
Appointed the first Camping Advisor for Victoria
1926
Instituted training by correspondence for country Leaders
1927
Visited Queensland as an experienced Trainer and gained further training qualification (Red Cord) for service beyond her own State
1927
First Ranger Captain of 1st Bendigo Ranger Company
1930
Awarded the Medal of Merit - presented by the world Chief Guide, Lady Baden Powell
1930
Organized a Rally for guides to get together and meet the Chief's - Lord and Lady Baden Powell during this visit to Australia
1935
Organized a rally for the Guides of the time to see Lord and Lady Baden Powell during their visit to the State of Victoria
1939 - 1946
Accepted position of Acting State Secretary for 3 months (lasted for 8 years)
1940
Life Member of the State Council of the Victorian Girl Guide Association
1940
Worked with the other States particularly South Australia and Queensland to develop Camping and Training programmes
1945
Visited South Australia to help reorganise that State's Training Department
1945
An organiser and assessor of the first Guide International Service (Australian) Test prior to the women being selected to work with the displaced people in Europe and Malaysia
1947
Awarded Chief Guide's Diploma for Training (the first to ever be awarded in Australia)
1948
Honorary Secretary at the first Federal Trainers Conference
1956
Honoured by Her Majestry the Queen with the Order of the British Empire. Presented with her award at Buckingham Palace.
1 January 1981
Died

Related entries

Digital resources

Title
Merle Bush
Type
Image
Source
Guides Victoria Archives

Details

Anne Heywood

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