Mothers' Day 2024 in Australia

Many people enjoyed the post for Father's Day 2023 where I shared photos of some of the significant men in my life. Many of you commented on the wonderful relationship you had as a child with your father and other significant males in your life.

Today, in Australia, we celebrate Mother's Day and I decided to share some of the significant women in my life and to acknowledge their influence.

I am going to start over 100 years ago with my Great Grandmother Jane Doig Morris (nee Robertson) who had a remarkable influence on my mother as a young child and introduced her to the joy of the theatre, literature, poetry and history which my mother then passed onto me.

Jane Doig Morris (nee Robertson) with her grand-daughter Alice Albina (Bena) Morris

My mother Bena Newman (nee Morris) grew up as the eldest of five children and was called upon to be largely responsible for providing an income for the family as my grandfather struggled with mental illness and maintaining a stable life for his family.

My mother went on to marry her childhood sweetheart King Newman and to raise together three children of which I am the youngest.

King and Bena Newman, Bena when young, Bena in China in 1990

My mother lived to be 3 months short of 100 years and so we had plenty of time to share in the joint pleasure we had in: the garden and all things to do with nature, poetry, art (especially the Dutch and Flemish artists), music and especially the theatre in the form of stage plays both comedies and drama. We also shared a love of travel and learning about new cultures and were able to share a trip to Hong Kong and China in 1990 which remains one of my loveliest of memories. My mother at this time was in her early 80s.

But here we are below enjoying her greatest passion - her garden. And the cat's name was Jimba Yegga Cabong - a name I made up!! Good thing I didn't have any children of my own as a shudder to think what I might have called them!!

Anne with her mother Bena in about 1960 in the backyard of their family home

I was very lucky to have what amounted to "two mothers" in my life! I had an Auntie Jean and as we lived next door to her she was always a significant figure in my life and me in hers. As she lived to be 101 we had plenty of time to share our joint love of cars and speed, motor bikes, golf, and how to use a hammer and saw and repair anything at all including the roof!

Jean Newman as a young woman and celebrating her 100th birthday

And here is Jean painting her home when she was in her late 90s!! The leadlight windows you can see on the front of the house were made by my grandfather (Jean's father) who worked in his father's Paint and Paper Decorating business.

Jean Newman painting 128 Wills Street, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

Through life's unexpected twists and turns I have built a family which goes beyond DNA and I try to be a good mother, grandmother, sister to those I have adopted. Thank you all for your wonderful love and support which I receive in bucketloads.

I also want to give a shout out to the importance of female friends - be they from way back in the past or only recently connected.

My significant female friends have contributed greatly to the wonderful life I enjoy and I thank you all for these relationships - you know who you are.

And yes, to the boys who also share my life and who still make me laugh - I thank you also for your friendships.


And Tendai has just posted on Facebook his Mother's Day painting which is wonderful - and says it all. Thank you Tendai for the amazing contribution you are giving to the world of art and to the AnArt4Life blog.

Tendai Makufa creating his Happy Mother's Day Greeting

Please leave a Comment acknowledging any women who have had a significant influence on your life.