A double celebration has been held to mark a Margate woman’s 70 years of service to scouting and her 88th birthday.
Ann Wells MBE has been a leader for 1st Margate (St John’s) Scouts since she was 18 and is now President of Thanet Scouts & St Johns Ambulance Southern Division.
A party and long service award for the mother-of-four was held last Saturday and attended by Scout and Guide members, county officials, MP Sir Roger Gale, former Margate council leader Iris Johnston and former members of Ann’s scout group, with many travelling from across the country to be at the event.
Ann, who has eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, said it was “lovely” to see so many people come together for the celebration.
She said: “It was great, there were so many people there, people travelled from Oxford and Nottingham, it makes you feel good. The Guides came which was lovely considering I was chucked out when I was a teenager but they are lovely people.”
The 70 year service award was presented to Ann by Alan Noake, Assistant County Commissioner, Kent.
Ann said: “He was lovely. I have known him for over 40 years.
“I have really enjoyed scouting and have some great friends. I was an only child but have always enjoyed being with youngsters. Things have changed, there are a lot of rules now and many people don’t give up their time like we used to and are not volunteering.
“But I’ve always enjoyed it, I enjoyed doing camps for 48 years and I get my rewards by helping the youngsters and they help me. I’m also a St John Ambulance president, along with Roger Gale, and it just keeps me going. I seem to achieve things so I just carry on.”
Ann says she also received hundreds of cards and flowers for her birthday.
The celebration was held at the HQ of 1st Margate (St John’s) Scout Group in Durban Road,.
Group Scout Leader John Marshall said: “Completing 70 years, and still continuing, is quite a rare occurrence and a number of dignitaries including Sir Roger Gale and mayors past and present, together with family, leaders from across Thanet and County HQ, two or three original Wolf Cubs from the 1950s and many who have crossed Ann’s path over the years attended.
“Having received her Warrant on her 18th birthday she was Cub Leader (Akela) for over 40 years and is still with the same Group as Chair. She has also held other appointments such as District Commissioner.
“We are so proud of her.”