The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

Mother's Day

The ancient Greeks and Romans both had festivals to honour the mothering goddesses Rhea and Cybele. Christians in the middle ages celebrated Mothering Sunday. A day when people travelled back to their 'mother church' and went to mass with their family and mother. This day was the closest to today's Mother's Day.

The modern version of Mother's Day has its origins in the United States. Anna Marie Jarvis admired her mother who had tended to the wounded during the American Civil War. When Anna was 12, she heard her mother pray that perhaps one day there might be a Memorial Day for mothers for all the good that they do. Upon Anna's mother's death in May of 1905, Anna began her plan for a holiday to remember and recognise mothers. In May of 1908, Anna held a memorial in honour of her mother's good deeds and handed out white carnations, her mother's favourite flower. From here the celebration spread throughout her state and across the country. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill making the second Sunday in May officially Mother's Day in the United States.

The day was meant to be spent in church followed by sons and daughters writing letters to their mothers. Carnations were worn, red or pink for living mothers and white for mothers who had passed away. Sales of carnations took off on Mother's Day and by 1920, greeting cards began replacing hand written letters, much to the dismay of Anna Jarvis.

Mother's Day began in Australia in 1924 in Sydney when Mrs J Heyden would bring gifts to lonely mothers. Whatever the origin, Mother's Day has become, not only one of the busiest days for phone companies and florists, but a day to say thank you and I love you to our mums.

Do you remember your mum treasuring the pictures you drew or painted as a child? Do you remember your mum teaching you how to tie your shoelaces before you started school? Whether she read with you before bed after working all day, prepared dinner and tidied the house or perhaps she did these things before she rushed to collect you from school only to happily take you to sport, music or some social event. Each day mothers demonstrate true selfless love.

Our mums mean a lot to us. Motherhood is a great investment that can have incredible daily rewards. You can never overestimate the influence of a good mother. Tomorrow's leaders are moulded in the homes of today.

Mothers make an indelible mark on the hearts of their children - their words are never completely forgotten and their touch and the memory of their presence lasts a lifetime. I hope that on Mother's Day, all of the mothers of our community will feel the special love their children have for them. I wish to thank the mothers of Scotch for all that they do for their sons and for the wonderful young men they are raising.

Mr John Stewart
Head of Junior School