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A TRIBUTE TO GLORIA PARTLO

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Gloria Partlo has gone home.

 

Born: 25 July 1934, Sarnia, Ontario

Died: 06 November 2020, Toronto, Ontario

Age: 86, illness following stroke

Description: Life-time Scouter, Mentor, Akela, Neighbour

 

Anyone attending a camp of the Mighty 4th Humber West Scout Group would likely remember waking to Akela (Gloria Partlo) singing “Good Morning Fellow Campers”.  That she couldn’t carry a tune was no deterrent for Akela.  Nor was Akela ever shy to roll up her sleeves and get her hands dirty doing kitchen dishes, or to dress up in stylish costumes that went with themes of camps or Hallowe’en meetings.  Gloria Partlo is a fixture in our memories, undertakings, and spirits for untold hundreds of youth, Leaders, parents, and resource persons associated with Scouting in general, and with the Mighty 4th in particular.

 

Gloria Partlo passed away on the 6th of November 2020, after a brief illness following a stroke.  She was 86, but spent the better part of the last 70 years nurturing youth and adults in the enjoyment of Scouting fellowship and service, much of it in the outdoors.  Gloria fondly reminded us that “Out” was a key part of “Scouting”.  She joined Scouts in Sarnia, Ontario, at the age of 14.  She became an Assistant Cub Leader in 1952 with the 12th Sarnia Pack, where she met her late husband John, who was a Scout Leader.  After a couple of moves, Gloria landed in Etobicoke, and became an Assistant Cub Leader in 1963 with the Mighty 4th Cub Pack.  In the early 70’s, she became “Akela” (“Lone Wolf”), the Leader of the Leaders.

 

Gloria was also a key resource for our section’s Beavers, Scouts, Venturers, and Rovers, and Group Committee. Scouts Canada recognized Glorias achievements on a regular basis over the years.  Of significance, Gloria was presented in 2006 with the Silver Acorn Award, signed by the Governor-General and Chief Scout, for especially distinguished service to Scouting.  This was followed by the Bar to the Silver Acorn in 2018, for continued service.  Gloria was also the proud recipient of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.  She received a  Long Service Award for 70 years of devotion to Scouting in 2019.  Gloria officially retired from Scouts in 2020.

 

Gloria knew everything about the Scouting programs.  She knew “how to talk so kids will listen”.  She was the diplomat for differing viewpoints.  Gloria nurtured leadership from third year Cubs — or Scubbies” — as a prominent objective of achievement in the Mighty 4th.  She recruited dedicated and resourceful senior Cubs to become Junior Leaders, and guided them so that they were Leaders in front of the other youth.  Gloria led by example; both youth and  adult Leaders had a role model to follow.  Gloria personally composed commendations for Scouts Canada medals and her own annual award to recognize volunteer Leaders and resource persons who provided exceptional programs to our Mighty 4th youth.

 

Our Cub programs were likely no different from those of other Packs.  But Gloria gave direction, while allowing the rest of us to generate new ideas and scenarios.  We celebrated Camps with themes, props, and costumes (eg: Olympics, medieval knights, Harry Potter, Inuit, space exploration); Hallowe’en in full regalia (Gloria was typically the Evil Queen).  We didn’t just build and race Kub Kars or fire rockets; we lived the Mighty 4th Indy and Mighty 4th NASA Space Centre, complete with functioning officials and winning trophies. No youth ever failed” to get a badge or star; Gloria helped motivate them to try harder.  She succeeded in instilling a gift in youth, Leaders, and parents to give back in actions more than what they received.

 

Gloria attended almost every Wednesday night Cub meeting, 3 camps a year, weekend outings, annual Hobby Craft Shows, annual Church Parades to thank our sponsor, spring Scouting Banquets, Bushman’s Camps in July.  We entertained seniors with Christmas concerts.  Every summer, Gloria invited the Cubs, parents, and Leaders to her weekend trailer for an afternoon by the lake.  Every Christmas, Gloria entertained Cubs and parents at a social gathering, and her Leaders at a pot luck dinner.  This continual mentorship and recognition inspired the creation of the Mighty 4th Anthem by a couple of Leaders/resource parents, and it became a regular fixture to demonstrate the pride we had in our full Scout group.

 

Gloria’s leadership in the Mighty 4th allowed us to stretch beyond regular badge requirements, and to design programs that inspired the youth to experience a full kaleidoscope.  Gloria was the inspiration for many generations of youth, Junior Leaders, adult Leaders, parents, and resources. 

 

Gloria Partlo has Gone Home, in Scouting parlance. But our memories live on.

 

 

Submitted by former Leaders of the Mighty 4th:

Michael Lin                 Khoman Phang           David McBride            Ellen Johnstone

 

Etobicoke, Ontario

December 2020

Translation Note: The Canadian English version of this content is being displayed because the French translation is unavailable.

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