One of our lovely Guiding lights has gone and is now shining down on us from afar. Doreen Hammersley was my friend – an enthusiastic and vibrant individual, so full of energy and with an infectious and positive attitude to life. She led a very full life, was very much part of her local community in Tenby, and gave a lifelong commitment to Girlguiding in Pembrokeshire and in Wales.
Doreen had a zest for life. She threw herself into projects always making an active contribution – whether it was Scottish Country Dancing (a lifelong passion) or encouraging youngsters to ‘have a go’ (more often than not leading by example!) or, as a member of Soroptimist International of Tenby, writing letters in support of a project about Female Genital Mutilation.
She was also an amazing and very accomplished artist. She was never without her sketchbook and pencil and, whilst most of us take photographs as souvenirs or memories of people and events throughout our lives, Doreen was sketching or painting. She has a wonderful collection of all sorts of images – from a sketch of her newly-born twin grand-children, to pictures of guest speakers at conferences and dinners, to portraits of friends and acquaintances. If ever we were chatting and I was unable to put a face to a name, Doreen would produce her stack of portraits to find one of the person we were speaking about – and they were immediately recognisable.
Doreen was an Honorary Vice President of Girlguiding Cymru in recognition of the unique contribution she made to the organisation. Her involvement in her local community was also recognised and she was enormously proud of her BEM (British Empire Medal).
Today as you light your Thinking Day candle, think of Doreen and all our Guiding lights – let them shine.