Generations of Tokanui girls have Patricia Poole thank for running the rural township's Guides troop.
Mrs Poole retired from the organisation last week after 40 years running the Tokanui branch.
She was presented with a service badge by GirlGuidingNZ regional co-ordinator Suzanne van der Meys in Fortrose on Saturday.
Mrs van der Meys said Mrs Poole was the longest-serving leader she had met in her time. ''She's been taking the Guides for that long ... it's invaluable.''
Mrs Poole became involved withe the Guides through her family and excelled at leading outdoor activities such as camping, Mrs van der Meys said.
''She also talked about teaching knitting and sewing, crafts that are not taught any more,'' she said.
Providing clubs like the Guides was important in rural areas because it gave children something to do when they might be getting bored, she said.
- The Southland Times
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