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Elspeth retires after an amazing 62 years’ service

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Douglas McAllister and Elspeth Mitchell stand together holding the engraved bowl, looking at the camera

Girlguiding in Clydebank has bid farewell to a legendary leader after a magnificent 62 years of volunteering.

Elspeth Mitchell thought she was in for a quiet final night at Rainbows, but her fellow Girlguiders had a surprise party in store for her.

Janice Blair, Elspeth Mitchell and Elaine Rough stand together posing for the photograph
Party time: Janice Blair, Elspeth Mitchell and Elaine Rough

She was presented with a beautiful engraved bowl from Provost Douglas McAllister on behalf of the community, as well as flowers.

He said: “It was my great privilege to present Elspeth with a commemorative gift on the occasion of her retirement on behalf of West Dunbartonshire and to thank her for her quite outstanding contribution to Guiding over 62 years and to recognise her service to our community over all these decades.

“It was great to have the opportunity to offer her my heartfelt thanks and appreciation for her volunteering over all of these years and recognising that she would have inspired thousands of girls across our community.

“It was lovely to be part of the surprise secret retirement party and it was also an opportunity to recognise all of our local guiding volunteers as we approach the upcoming volunteer week from June 3 to June 9, 2024.”

From captain to Rainbows leader

MSP Marie McNair and Elspeth Mitchell hold the framed motion to Parliament
Recognition: MSP Marie McNair and Elspeth Mitchell hold the framed motion to Parliament

Starting out as a caption, Elspeth has held numerous roles over her years in Girlguiding, including outdoor advisor, treasurer and commissioner and most recently as a Rainbows leader.

Marie McNair MSP presented her with a printed copy of a motion to the Scottish Parliament for extraordinary service.

Girlguiding Scotland’s Chief Commissioner, Elaine Rough, travelled through to give Elspeth her personal thanks for all she has done.

And County Commissioner Lorna Hamilton sent a card to be read out on the evening, as she couldn’t be there in person.

Elspeth Mitchell with a bouquet of flowers

6th Clydebank Girl Guide leader Janice Blair said: “The division presented Elspeth with a scarf and guiding broach, and the 6th Clydebank Units gave a rainbow bouquet.

“She had many more cards and gifts to get through when she got home.

“We finished her last night with taps, but, don’t worry, she’ll still be a member of the Trefoil!”

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