Newspaper Article 1998 – Brigade to target HB sweet tooths

Brigade to target HB sweet tooths

There is good news for those with a sweet tooth – the Girls’ Brigade is selling delicious chocolate almonds to raise funds in Hawke’s Bay next week, says area co-ordinator Melva Mildenhall.

She says girls will be selling packets of almonds to family, friends and neighbours. The Greenmeadows and Hastings companies are selling the sweets from Monday onwards.

Money raised by sales will be used locally to help support the five Napier and Hastings companies. It will be used to subsidise the girls fees, and buy sporting, craft and educational equipment, Miss Mildenhall says.

The five companies are in Taradale, Greenmeadows, Napier and Hastings, and a group for Pacific Island girls in Hastings. There are about 200 members and each company is on the look-out for more members.

Miss Mildenhall says Girls’ Brigade is the longest running group for girls in the world. It provides the physical, spiritual, educational and social skills so girls can learn to live successfully with others.

The companies meet once a week in three age groups. They are juniors (aged five to eight years), seniors (aged nine to 12 years) and Pioneers who are aged 13 years to about 18. The latter group can train to be leaders of the younger groups, and they have more freedom to learn and do what they want at meetings, she says.

The Girls’ Brigade has a distinctive uniform which will be worn to identify them when they are selling chocolate almonds. It is a blue skin, a blue sweatshirt, school shoes and a white under shirt.

Each Girls’ Brigade company is attached to a church of some kind. It is a movement that seek, serve and follow Christ, working to standards set by Jesus Christ Saviour and Lord, Miss Mildenhall says.

“We positively teach the Christian attitude.”

There is a devotion made at each meeting which includes Christian singing and a story (message). The girls also learn fun and educational skills such as rock and roll dancing, all types of handicrafts, and social skills such as home nursing, indoor gardening, emergency skills and working with people with disabilities.

“On the educational aspect, the girls have been learning communication skills and environmental . care. They also learn cooking and a very wide range of other skills. They are learning about life,” she says.

The companies meet frequently during the year and go to camps, enter competitions, and participate in church parades. There is also a national gathering held every three years.

Girls’ Brigade was established in 1893 in Dublin, Ireland. On a chilly day, girls at the Sandy Mount Presbyterian Church got together for singing practice but they could not get into the swing of it. So their teacher organised some games for the girls. The Girls’ Brigade developed from this concept, Miss Mildenhall says.

Here is a recipe to use when you buy a packet or two of the Girls Brigade chocolate almonds:

Coffee Nut Sauce

This recipe makes about two cups, with a cooking time of about five minutes.

1 tbsp butter
2 tsp instant coffee
250ml can reduced cream
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 tbsp coarsely chopped Girls’ Brigade chocolate almonds

Place butter, coffee, reduced cream and sugar in a small saucepan.

Cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves. Continue to cook, stirring until the mixture is about to boil. Remove from heat.

Stir in vanilla essence and chocolate almonds. Serve over icecream.

Ready to sell packets of Girls’ Brigade chocolate almonds next week are (from left) Colleen White, Tynesha Brandt (7), Sophie Bell (8) and Emily Bell (5).

Original digital file


Non-commercial use

Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand (CC BY-NC 3.0 NZ)

This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand (CC BY-NC 3.0 NZ).


Commercial Use

The donor of this material does not allow commercial use.

Can you help?

The Hawke's Bay Knowledge Bank relies on donations to make this material available. Please consider making a donation towards preserving our local history.

Visit our donations page for more information.

Business / Organisation

The Girls' Brigade NZ

Format of the original

Newspaper article

Date published



  • Emily Bell
  • Sophie Bell
  • Tynesha Brandt
  • Colleen White

Accession number


Do you know something about this record?

Please note we cannot verify the accuracy of any information posted by the community.

Supporters and sponsors

We sincerely thank the following businesses and organisations for their support.