History of the Guild
History of the Guild
The DSG Guild was formed in 1884 and was affiliated to its parent body – the Cheltenham Ladies College Daisy Guild. Most of the staff members were in fact teachers from this college. This affiliation continued until 1924 when it was quite evident that DSG was able to stand on its own feet. There is a stained-glass window presented to the Guild by the President and its members of Cheltenham Ladies College, it is situated in the Chapel.
Originally, the badge of our Guild was a daisy with the letters DSGG – this was for DSG Grahamstown, and not Guild as some of us may have thought. The annual subs were then 2/6d and this included a free magazine. We owe a special debt of gratitude to Miss Lilla Strong for the work she did as founder of the All-Saints Guild. The Guild was inaugurated by a meeting of past girls held at the DSG on All Saints Eve, 1885. Miss Lilla Strong was the first President of the Guild, she was also from Cheltenham Ladies College and was only at the DSG for 4½ years. The purposes of the Guild were largely educational in the beginning, and there were a number of Guild Societies, like the Drawing Society, the Essay Society, and the Literary Society. Questions were given (open to Guild Members only), and essay topics given which Old Girls could write and send in – they were published along with the criticisms. In fact, the magazine was called the All Saints Guild Magazine, and consisted almost entirely of work set by these Societies. The objects of the Guild were as follows – its objects shall be to help its members in self-improvement and in work for others, by promoting co-operation among them; through the medium of the Guild magazine, keeping members informed of the work done by others; pointing out to the courses of reading, and by any other means which shall be practicable.
The Guild forms a bond between the past and present pupils of the school. When you leave DSG, you automatically become part of The Guild. To most girls the school period of their lives is a happy landmark and an incredible sisterhood, and the Guild has for one of its aims, the continuation of the happiness and life-long friendships build within the wall of DSG.
Present girls are encouraged to look upon the Guild as a body, to keep them intellectually stimulated, socially networked, and affectionately united to their school after they leave. To quote Agnes Burt, DSG Guild secretary in 1890, “we can gain much, and we can give much, which it would be impossible to receive or to offer if we lived only the individual life.”
The All-Saints Guild continues to operate as an effective body with a constitution, a President, an Executive Committee and Branch Committees.