about the time my mother stood in for the Governor's wife at a ball?
It was the night of the *S.L.C.G. ball to be held at the Government House ballroom in Perth. Lady Gairdner had been marooned in the north of our state owing to floods and mum (as **President of the S.L.C.G.) was invited to take her place.
The first photo shows mum walking down the red carpet with the Governor, Sir Charles Gairdner, and the second photo shows her being presented with a bouquet of flowers which were, of course, intended for the Governor's wife.
Information re the formation of the S.L.C.G. of W.A:
Mrs B. Rischbieth, President of the Women's Service Guilds of W.A. (mum at that time was Hon Secretary of the Guilds) had been asked by members of the community to pay a visit to the Claremont Mental Asylum in order to survey conditions there, as many felt special provisions were urgently needed for the mentally retardedchildren placed there, many of whom shared wards with adults. The Guilds formed a committee and important people were invited to become members. Unfortunately subsequent meetings held were only attended by representatives of organisations already dedicated and confirmed in the belief that action on behalf of these children was long overdue.
Finally it was my mother who convened a meeting to which all known parents of retarded children were to be invited. Many of these parents had a guilt complex and some hid their children in back rooms and back gardens, and needed sympathy, understanding and encouragement. The speakers at the meeting were chosen carefully to emphasise the fact that mental and physical illnesses were allied, and that there was no more reason to be ashamed of either one or the other.
A second meeting also attended by parents was held and a resolution passed to form an organisation to deal with the care of mentally retarded children. At the final meeting the *Slow Learning Children's Group of W.A. was formed and mum was elected as **State President and Mrs Gladys Newton as Hon. Secretary. The resolution was supported by the Women's Service Guild and other like minded organisations. (Mrs Newton can be seen walking down the red carpet behind the Governor and mum.)
I remember back to the early 1950s when I was still living at home, and how hard mum and Mrs Newton worked to bring these plans to fruition. It is now a huge organisation known as the Active Foundation.
(The name Slow Learning Children's Group of W.A. was retained from 1951 to 1989 when the organisation became known as the Active Foundation. I felt rather pleased that the name was not changed until after mum's death in 1985).
NOTE: Much of the above information has been in part quoted from Mum's book "The Clock of Time".