Mother’s Day in Australia annually falls on the second Sunday in May the same as in America. It started with Mothering Sunday, a festival in the Christian Church, which had nothing to do with ‘mothers’ but was all about ‘mother church’. It had basically fallen out of favour by the turn of the twentieth century.
This was when an American social activist Anna Jarvis (1864-1948) became involved in 1908. She changed the mood again.
Within a few short years in the scheme of things and obviously a formidable woman, Anna convinced President Woodrow Wilson to sign her idea of ‘Mother’s Day’ into existence in 1914.
Interestingly, Anna also became the first to condemn ‘commercialisation’ of her own event when it became very popular.
Wondrously she started protests to ‘disturb the peace’ and try and get people back on the track of honouring their mother and giving love in simple ways.
She hated printed cards and thought the people who sent them to be insincere. She was appalled they wouldn’t take the time to write a note by hand to the woman, who had done more for them than anyone in the world.
Goodness, what would she think of internet or text sent greetings today! Very lazy indeed.
Now a tradition for most people regardless of race, religion or agendas, Mother’s Day in modern times is meant to honour the woman who gave you birth and thank her for the myriad of ways she has, and still contributes to your life.
Being mindful the most elderly of the mothers in your family circle are often well into their second half century, this year I thought I would pass on some ideas for pressies; special treats for you to help her and your family make memories in a variety of price ranges.
Adelaide; there is a special treat. Buy her a tour of The David Roche Foundation Collection (TDRF).
Philanthropist David Roche (1930-2013) bequeathed his outstanding collection to the nation and it’s on show in his former home Fermoy House and a purpose built state of the art contemporary gallery adjacent.
There is something for absolutely everyone at TDRF among its superlative 3600 pieces from painting to pottery from clocks to classy furniture and they all represent a pinnacle of excellence in the evolution of design and handcrafted decorative arts.
Tours with small numbers are intimate occasions so the visitor has the best experience possible and refreshments are served. The cost is modest. General $20 and Concession $17. Then there are the special events they invite you to, once you have subscribed to their mailing list.
They hold lectures and lovely concerts from time to time, the next being with the Australian Haydn Ensemble as guest players on Sunday 3 June. Perhaps perfect!
David Roche’s legacy has been in providing a precious jewel box filled with treasures and no matter how often you go, you will as he had hoped, always find ‘a favourite piece to remember’. BOOK TOUR NOW
All over Australia one of the best pressies to buy is a Gift Card from Palace Cinemas and you can load it up from $30 – 200 to suit your budget.
Palace Cinemas are indeed special places, carpeted, comfortable you can wine and dine before or after a show and meet with friends to relax in their well-appointed bar areas.
You can also buy a membership that gives discounts off normal prices all year long and invitations to special events and festivals.
I have been a member for some years now, since one of my three sons gave me a membership for Mother’s Day, and I am always at a special preview or screening, an experience I enjoy all year around.
Musical performances are always a great option and whether your Mum likes rock and roll or classical music, the choices on offer are vast and special and too numerous to mention here; you need to trawl the internet.
Here’s a starting point – Australian Brandenburg Orchestra.
At the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) she can enjoy a day out at the NGV International or NGV Australia, where you can explore great art including Colony Australia: 1770–1861, Colony: Frontier Wars, The Field Revisited and Robert Hunter.
Share your love of art this Mother’s Day with a Gift Membership to the NGV and indeed at each of the State Galleries all over Australia, where she will receive discounts, priority entry and invitations to exclusive events.
When I first saw these great works of art in France in my late 20’s, I was mesmerized and tried to visit them in other trips to that country in over a thirty-year period.
They had a significant role in shaping the way my life in the world of art and antiques would proceed.
Medieval works of art whose natural colours are still so fresh and alive, the Lady and the Unicorn Tapestries will knock your whole family’s socks off.
The kids will also love discovering all the ‘secret symbols’ within the paintings.
They will only come this once in your lifetime, so this is a treat for everyone to enjoy en familie, whatever your age.
Be quick you only have until 24 June.
It is only the third time they have left France in 500 years.
BOOK NOW $18 adult $16 concession $14 member $44 family (2 adults + up to 3 children)
In Perth a night out at the Black Swan Theatre Company seems special.
They always have such interesting landmark productions.
Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, one of the most significant plays in Australian theatre history, is currently on show until May 20, so hop online quickly if you wish to secure a place.
Brisbane has the Queensland Ballet and this year they are dreaming big under the brilliant direction of former Ballet Principal Li Cuxin.
You can Download their Brochure and choose something special to see like the Nutcracker at Xmas.
You could always let your Mum take her grandkids along to help expand their knowledge of the arts in Australia and give you an afternoon off as well. Pluses all around.
You can also attend rehearsals in Melbourne with the Australian Ballet as well or give your mother a ‘ballet class’ to take or go on a backstage tour behind the scenes.
The most important thing is to ensure you visit her on the day if at all possible, for every Mum I know, the most important thing to do is spend time with the people she loves.
If you cannot, please do give her a SKYPE or FACETIME call so she can see you and give her your time.
Time is surely the most precious of luxuries in our world today and the greatest gift we can give one another. It is also one she will be sure to appreciate.
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2018