Giving gifts on Mother’s Day

Whilst the tradition for giving gifts on Mother’s Day was well established in other parts of the world, it didn’t begin in Australia until 1924 when Janet Heyden, a resident of Leichhardt Sydney, started a campaign to collect gifts for lonely aged mothers; or so the story goes.

The following is an excerpt from the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper on Mother’s Day, Sunday 9 May 1954.

‘A Gift For Mother’ by a staff reporter.

A little old lady living in Petersham looks on Mother’s Day with something approaching possessiveness.

She visited the ‘Sun Herald’ to ask, “Do you know who started the idea of gifts for Mother’s Day?” She answered her own question: “Little me” she said stabbing her chest with a forefinger. ‘Little Me’ is Mrs. J. Heyden. She could be anything from 70 to 75. In fact she is 86 and very proud that few people realise it.

Mrs. Heyden thinks the stores that sell Mother’s Day gifts are not being fair to her about Mother’s Day. Not that she minds the “way it has become commercialised like a second Christmas. But they say the gift-for-mother idea was their own,” she said. “It wasn’t; it was mine.” Mother’s Day when most of us were children meant the wearing of a white flower – a tribute thought up by a school teacher in Canada.

Now it means installing mother as queen for a day – gifts, and the family doing the chores so that [mother] can put her feet up and lap up family worship for one day of the year.

Who fixed it that way? Why, Mrs. Heyden, she says.

It all started 30 years ago. “I was on the committee of the Home for Destitute Women and Children in Strathfield,” Mrs. Heyden recalls. “One of the patients was transferred to the Newington State Home, and I used to visit her. That was when I decided something should be done to brighten the lonely lives of the mothers there. I organised gifts for them on Mother’s Day. Even a little remembrance like hairpins (they wouldn’t be much good these days, would they?), a hankie or a cake of soap meant a lot to people like that.

Then I thought, why stop at them? So I appealed to the public through the newspapers to remember the mothers of Sydney. The gifts started to pour in. The late Alderman Dyer, who was Mayor of Leichhardt, used to drive me around to the old mothers of the district with my gift parcels. For seven years in succession the appeal through the newspapers made sure that hundreds of mothers who would otherwise have been forgotten received a Mothers’ Day gift. It was wonderful. Today, of course, a gift for mother is just the natural thing.”

~ A Gift For Mother (1954, May 9). The Sun-Herald (Sydney, NSW : 1953 – 1954), p. 54. Retrieved April 26, 2020, from Trove – National Library of Australia.

Mother’s Day

Need a gift for Mother’s Day? Shop Locally!

The Greater Port Macquarie boasts many local retailers, amazing locally made products and unique gift ideas for Mum. Here’s a sample of what’s available locally:

Billabong Zoo

Delivery area: Greater Port Macquarie and worldwide.

Adopt a Koala from Billabong Zoo this Mother’s Day. Show mum you care with a special Koala adoption and support Billabong Zoo in its vital conservation work. All adoptions receive an Adoption ePack containing a photo and bio of your chosen Koala; certificate of adoption; a paw print of your chosen koala; and subscription to quarterly newsletter.

Adopt a Koala from Billabong Zoo

Learn more about Billabong Zoo Koala & Wildlife Park. The zoo is home to a wide variety of Australian and exotic animals and birds, as well as a world-renowned koala breeding centre.

Let mum cosy up with a warm cuppa this Mother’s Day. A cup of TEA is a cup of PEACE. Dessert First Hot Chocolate & Tea Gift Packs. Yum! What a perfect gift for mum. Free local delivery.

Dessert First Gift Packs

Learn more about Dessert First Cakerie & Patisserie in Port Macquarie. Dessert First specialises in custom cakes, cupcakes, cookies and donuts.

Natalie O’Donnell Photography

Delivery area: Greater Port Macquarie.

Not sure what to give Mum this Mother’s Day? How about a Gift Session from Natalie O’Donnell Photography for a children, family or portrait session. Or just purchase a Gift Voucher and let Mum decide!

Natalie O'Donnell Photography Gift Voucher

Award winning photographer Natalie O’Donnell specialises in newborn, maternity and birth stories, milestones, children and family sessions. Learn more about Natalie O’Donnell Photography.

Round & Round

Delivery area: Port Macquarie.

Round & Round are hosting an Online Market Day from 12pm on Saturday 9 May 2020. There will be flowers, jewellery, cupcakes, fruit loaves and cards available for purchase and delivery with coffee. Doesn’t get any easier!

Round & Round Online Market Day

Learn more about Round & Round and their vintage style coffee caravan.

The Appletree Soul Food Cafe

Delivery area: Port Macquarie, Wauchope and Camden Haven areas.

Zoe from The Appletree Soul Food Cafe is making her amazing Mother’s Day Grazing Boxes and Healthy Mumma Grazing Hampers. A little bit gifty, a lot delicious! Free delivery in our local area.

Appletree Soul Food Grazing Boxes

The Seed Creative Workshops

Delivery area: Greater Port Macquarie and online.

The Seed Kids Art Kits for Mother’s Day are a great way for the kids to make a special handmade gift and card for Mum or Nanna, in the comfort of their own home. Or join the LIVE Mother’s Day Virtual Paint & Sip pARTy; the perfect gift for your creative Mumma!

The Seed Digital Paint Classes

Learn more about The Seed Creative Workshops. The Seed creative space hosts regular fine art classes for kids during school terms and creative kids school holiday workshops.

World Par-TEA

Delivery area: Port Macquarie.

Have a tea lover in the family? World Par-TEA have a lovely selection of Mother’s Day Gift Hampers made to order. Each beautifully gift wrapped with gift card and free local delivery; extra for postage.

World Par-TEA Gift Hamper

World Par-TEA package and blend over 220 hand-blended loose leaf teas, tisanes and infusions that are ethically sourced from around the world. World Par-TEA also offer a delightful range of tea related accessories and gifts. Learn more about World Par-TEA.

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