The Bahamas Girl Guides Association (BGGA) is holding up the success of Dr. Merceline Dahl-Regis, who more than 50 years ago, was the recipient of the prestigious “Queen’s Guide Badge” given by Queen Elizabeth II, after Dahl’s successful completion of rigorous physical, intellectual and social requirements, and who today has been bestowed the highest Queen’s honor presented to date – Commander of St. Michael and St. George, CMG.
Dahl-Regis’ accomplishments are being held up as a role model to more than 2,300 Girl Guides, Rangers, Brownies, Sunflowers and over 100 leaders throughout the country, the wider world and Guiding.
It was in June 1965, that the Guide movement in The Bahamas celebrated the success of Merceline Dahl of the 3rd Nassau Guide Company at The Government High School.
Today, more than 50 years later, the BGGA pays tribute to Dahl-Regis, whose “journey through life was a joyous adventure” while giving service to fellow men, and is now being recognized as a Commander of St. Michael and St. George, CMG.
“Dr. Dahl-Regis is not only an exemplary citizen by any world standard, she truly epitomizes the values and leadership skills Bahamas Girl Guides Association aims to instill in our Sunflowers, Brownies, Guides [and] Rangers,” said Dr. Ruth Sumner, BGGA president.
“Dr. Dahl-Regis’ knowledge of health, infectious diseases, maternal and reproductive care is matched only by her desire to share that information for the betterment and well-being of others. As a member of the council, she has consistently maintained her commitment to Bahamas Girl Guides even during the current COVID-19 pandemic. We were indeed proud that a ‘Queen’s Guide’ was providing guidance while serving as a health consultant to the Prime Minister, and had every confidence in her leadership during this pandemic.”
Dahl-Regis credits her ability to serve in her current capacity and her ongoing quest for knowledge in part to her life’s preparation gained through Girl Guides. She said the significance of girls interacting with representatives of generations of prominent women, who insisted on standards of conduct, standards of presentation, and demonstration of commitment to the Promise and Law was a great one.
“Guiding is good for girls. It provides leadership, helps to identify social boundaries and teaches you respect for authority,” said Dahl-Regis. “Guiding also provides you with a value system.”
Through activities from leading a patrol, camping in non-traditional settings, to serving Lenten tea, engaging in conversations with female role models such as her captain, Marjorie Davis, Barbara Brown and others, Dahl-Regis said that those seemingly simple interactions helped frame her approach to life’s goals and challenges. She emphasized the importance of academic success through reading.
“My advice to young girls is to read, read widely and read some more.”
She said there is a second lesson that is especially important now.
“Learn how to manage your money. Save, buy only what you need.”
The BGGA believes that unselfish success stories like those of Dahl-Regis shine a light on how an organization like Girl Guides can make a difference in a life, and welcomes support in completion of their headquarters on West Bay Street.
“Whether as chief medical officer or in her work with PAHO, fighting to rid the world of measles and rubella, Dr. Dahl-Regis never focused on her personal advancement, but rather on whom she was assisting,” said Elma Garraway, assistant chief commissioner. “The lessons we are taught about learning and sharing, about supporting one another, about leadership and reaching for the stars through Guiding are exemplified in all that Dr. Dahl-Regis does and stands for.”
Sonia Adderley, chief commissioner, said Dahl-Regis serves as a role model for leadership, demonstrating a desire to constantly learn, always showing humility and epitomizing what it means to be part of a cause larger than one’s self.
The mission and vision of the BGGA is to provide opportunities for the development of girls and young women, to build self-esteem, to develop positive attitudes, and to become contributing citizens both nationally and internationally.