Portadown Guide Leaders devote over 100 years

- Alison Courtney (left) and Phyllis Jeffers enjoy tea at The Dorchester Hotel.
- Alison Courtney (left) and Phyllis Jeffers enjoy tea at The Dorchester Hotel.

Two popular Portadown Guide leaders have retired after having devoted more than 100 years of service between them to Armagh Road Presbyterian Guides.

Guider-in-Charge Phyllis Jeffers, 58 , and Assistant Guider, Alison Courtney, 43, have served the Guides faithfully and devotedly since childhood.

Alison and Phyllis have formed the nucleus of a wonderful team over the years.

Both women, who have also worked for the Civil Service, were members of the various units in their childhood and went on to lead hundreds of girls who passed through the organisation.

The two friends marked their retirement with a special weekend in London, where they saw the West End adaptation of ‘The Lion King’, climbed up the second gallery of St Paul’s Cathedral, and visited the London Eye.

Armagh Road guides also treated them to tea at The Dorchester Hotel, where they enjoyed a selection of sandwiches, cream scones, tray bakes and cake.

Phyllis, originally from Chelsea, London, moved to Portadown aged 12, when her dad was posted back to his native Ulster. She joined Armagh Road Guides when Florrie Curry was in charge, assisted by Jean Smith and Thelma Stothers.After passing through Guides and Rangers, Phyllis took over, the County Armagh scene and became camp adviser.

Alison attended a World Jamboree in Norway with thousands of International Guides, and served County Armagh as the Duke of Edinburgh Awards organiser.

The women said that their great friendship has been a real blessing during their Guiding years.