Sunday, August 3, 2014

Reconnecting, celebrating 100 years and family

We've had an enormous two days of celebrations for BK's 100th birthday. Twenty four family members from as far away as London, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sandy Beach travelled to Canberra to help Mum celebrate this awesome milestone.  Those that weren't able to travel have sent messages of love via Skype (all the way from Korea) and mobile phone (a show stopper from Great-grandson Eddie in London) and via cards, letters and email. A beautiful bunch of flowers was sent from Mum's nephew in Brisbane as was a personal letter from our much admired ACT Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher MLA (as well as around 65 lovely links for Mum's 100th birthday paper chain)

It is fair to say that Mum has LOVED seeing the far flung members of her family all together again even though she would have much preferred it if we didn't go on so much about her being 100 years old like we have!

We hosted "Open House" on Friday so that we could all catch up in a relaxed way that catered for people arriving and leaving at different times. It also meant that the little ones in the family had a chance to catch up on nap times if needed.

It was pretty clear right from the start that Mum was LOVING all this attention from her favourite people!
 

I had made a "Betty Book" of photos and a narrative about the ten decades of BK's life....a century that has seen two world wars, a Great Depression, a Cold War, a GFC and enormous societal changes. In the midst of all this Mum and Dad raised a family and made a happy home for them. Over the past thirty years, after Dad died, Mum has proudly watched her grandchildren grow and thrive and go on to make wonderful careers and families of their own.

The "Betty Book" created some interest among family members we haven't seen in a while. That's our cousin David, Mum's nephew, from Perth, enjoying a bit of reminiscing with Betty over the Betty Book.
..

and then there's Davey from London (not too jet lagged) and sister Claire and David's wife Karen enjoying memories captured in the Betty Book....


Even those cousins who see each other more regularly loved the chance to catch up like this (on a Friday afternoon WORK DAY too).


..and Erin and John and their little treasures had made the HUGE drive up from Melbourne so they could help us celebrate (along with Granny Ros from Sandy Beach).

..and it wouldn't be any kind of a party without these two girls.....


..and these two couldn't believe their luck--a whole afternoon of giggling, stacks on, jumping and sliding, being nice to Great Granny K - and an afternoon off SCHOOL too!

The main event on Saturday was lunch (for 24 people) at the Hyatt Hotel. Mum always enjoys family outings at the Hyatt - including the lunchtime seafood buffet - so it was the obvious choice of venue for this occasion. Rob got to sit at the Young Ones table!

And the youngest family member (baby Sam) got to spend a lot of time at the Older Persons table.

We could hear these cousins enjoying a lot of laughs together....


.....but these little cousins hardly talked at all.  They both share the same passion for Peppa Pig.....and that is enough - with no need to talk about it!




There was a lovely Hyatt moment as we were about to leave. We were able to sing Happy Birthday to Mum, accompanied by the very accomplished resident Hyatt pianist. Despite my best intentions I was never able to get all 24 of us together for a family photo - but this was not a bad second best attempt (only 8 people missing!).

Mum was still really enjoying herself at this point despite the acute embarrassment of everyone knowing it was her 100th birthday.

 Then it was back to our house again for an afternoon of more celebrating...

receiving a Skype greeting from Granny K's beloved grandson Joel in South Korea.........


..time to show off an Alanah Hill headband (borrowed from big sister) (looks very fetching with Peppa Pig top and green tulle skirt)...

..and then of course there was birthday CAKE........

It was very special to share this time with family members we've not seen in a while - like cousin Robert from Queensland, and Margaret.... Mum recognised her nephew Robert immediately, despite the years since they had last seen each other.


and so nice to share this very special celebration with those we see a lot more of...


..while remembering that in essence all birthdays are really all about the C-A-K-E! especially when it has cream cheese icing....


HAPPY 100th BIRTHDAY GRANNY K (MUM)!

1 comment:

Roslyn Lawrence said...

Fabulous post about a fabulous weekend. Something we will always remember. xxx