Drive For Life

Drive for Life
Drive for Life

About to set out for a session of driving practice are Drive For Life’s first learner driver Zavier Edwards, left, and his mentor Alex Leskiewicz.


Youth Outreach Service’s (YOS) Drive For Life program in Stafford recently hit a major milestone when it began to process in its second batch of learner drivers.

Affiliated to the Salvation Army, YOS has been serving disadvantaged young people in Brisbane for 30 years and Drive For Life is its most recent initiative. The program came into being when it was realised that one of the biggest hurdles facing the young people it serves is obtaining their driver’s licenses.

Program co-ordinator Wayne Norfold explained that even if the young people can obtain their learner's, they often do not have access to a vehicle or responsible adult to supervise them during the hundred hours of practice driving they need to complete in order to take their driving tests.

He said the YOS program includes assisting the young people to obtain their learner’s licenses, putting them with a professional driving instructor for 10 hours instruction and then providing a vehicle and volunteer mentor for an hour's driving practice each week.

Three young learner drivers had completed their 10 hours of instruction when Village Buzz visited the YOS offices in Stafford recently and the second batch was due to attend their induction briefing later that day. The first learners were beginning the 70 or so hours of practice they will need before they can go for their driving tests.

Helping young people to become safe competent drivers has many benefits both for them and for society as a whole, said Wayne. It is well-known that young drivers are more at risk of being killed or injured in accidents so programs designed to improve their skills can play a vital role in saving lives and the costs to society associated with traffic accidents.

The benefit to the youngsters themselves is also substantial and can make a major positive contribution to their prospects for finding employment and to their mental and emotional wellbeing. Many coming from disadvantaged backgrounds feel stuck and powerless and gaining their driver's licenses is a huge positive step for them.

It can give them the sense that they are actually doing something concrete to improve their situations and a sense of achievement as driving become second nature. In addition, many will not have experienced positive interactions with older people and regular contact with their mentors will be hugely beneficial as they become fully fledged members of society.

Getting a driver's license is not just about the license, said Wayne, but is also a rite of passage exposing the young people to the adult world, placing a challenge before them, helping them to overcome it and celebrating with them at the end.

One component of the program that we at Village Buzz think is pretty innovative is the requirement for all learners to give back to the community by donating at least five hours of their time. This might be in the form of taking senior citizens shopping or performing other chores to benefit the community.

There are many similar programs to Drive For Life running in other states including Victoria, in particular, where the government has seen their value and put its weight fully behind them. There are very few programs running in Queensland so far and the YOS program is a response to a great need in the community.

It is in its very early stages at the moment but the organisers have been concentrating on getting the foundations and processes right before attempting to greatly expand the operation. They currently have one vehicle under lease and are hoping in time, with support from government and community, to boost this number substantially.

At the moment, Wayne says Drive For Life’s most urgent need is for members of the public to come forward to assist with fundraising and as volunteers for the mentoring program. He hopes that the program might one day scale to the point where it can become self-sustaining.


YOS contact details:

Wayne Norfold

Community Project Worker

32-54 Hayward Street Stafford Qld 4053

0419 753 610


Story by Allan Jackson

Dylan Geary – Grow Learn Inspire

Dylan Geary on Village Buzz

Dylan Geary on Village BuzzHi, my name is Dylan and I am 16 years old.  I have athetoid cerebral palsy. This means that I have a brain injury that affects how I control my body, particularly my head, arms & hands, legs & feet.  I need help to do things for myself and some things have to be done for me.

I have two main challenges in life – being able to move around and communicating what I’m thinking and feeling.

I use a wheelchair most of the time & am working at using a walking frame at high school. I am also practicing using an electric wheelchair. My parents transport me in my chair to and from school, appointments & outings with friends in our van.

The biggest obstacle for me is about how other people see me – they don’t presume that I’m intelligent. Just because I don’t have speech, it doesn’t mean that I have nothing to say.

People I interact with often don’t understand that I’m using many different channels of communication to express myself. I use my voice, my face, my eyes, my actions, my head, or sometimes my whole body to let people know what I’m thinking and feeling.

My best way of talking is using a speaking machine and activating it with my eye gaze. I have to stay very still which is tricky for me. I am learning a new system of forming complex language. On the 2nd September I used this for the first time to present at the Sensitivity Unit (provides devices & equipment for adults & children to use to understand what it's like to have a disability) fundraiser, at Craigslea State School, Chermside West. You can watch my presentation here:

I work really hard each week with my conductive education therapists and practice sitting and standing and walking. I am very busy and this takes a lot of effort and time. I love getting stronger and being helped to do as much for myself as possible.

I love school and this year I am in year 11. I am preparing for life when I finish school at the end of next year. I am exploring ideas, including running my own business, painting and helping out at the Sensitivity Unit, a place for education about disability and inclusion.

I want to present at events and help to educate people about disability and be a mentor for younger people living with a disability.

To enable me to continue to get around, my parents are fundraising for a new van to transport me & my wheelchair in. They hope to raise $10,000 in the next 1-12 months. To help us achieve my goal you can:-

*Join us at Riverwalk, a 5km walk for brain injury, at Orleigh Park at 10AM, finishing at 1PM at West End, Brisbane & ask friends & family to sponsor you.

*Make a donation via my every day hero page Any donations over $2 are tax deductible.

* Share this article with your family & friends.

I thank you all for your love & support. Please stay abreast my journey by following me on facebook at:

Thanks to Samantha Deveson from Verve Massage for letting us know about Dylan.

A Resilient and Remarkable Woman

A Resilient and Remarkable Woman

A Resilient and Remarkable Woman

When they say you can't keep a good woman down I'm sure they're talking about my friend Trish Jackson. This remarkable woman is a mother, wife, motivational speaker, photographer and artist...and she's also a thalidomide survivor.

Trish was born during a time when thalidomide was a drug prescribed for nausea during pregnancy. As a result Trish has short arms with a few fingers on each. The effects that this awful drug has taken on her body has been immeasurable including major heart problems with her having many heart operations. She lives with constant pain because "feet weren’t meant to be hands". Imagine getting your foot up to your head many times a day to brush your hair or clean your teeth, turn taps on, drink coffee, eat, open doors etc and the ongoing pain that this would cause.

Originally born in Townsville Trish has lived on the Northside of Brisbane since she was eight years old and she considers the Prince Charles Hospital as her second home.

Trish has never considered herself as a victim but a survivor with her role models being her parents who she believes are the victims. Trish says "what my parents were put through after I was born and how they were treated just breaks my heart. There was no support back then and they didn’t get government funding to help for my health costs. The way my Dad fought for me to get into mainstream school was amazing as disabled kids did not go to mainstream schools in those days". In Townsville Trish attended Cootharinga Crippled Children's Home in Grades 1-3 and after moving to Brisbane this remarkable woman did go to mainstream school attending St Margaret's in Brisbane from Grades 3-12.

About four years ago a childhood friend of Trish, who is now a school teacher, asked her to come and speak to her students. Her childhood friend told her that whilst watching Trish grow up, achieving lots of things in her life that she noticed she had always managed everything with a smile on her face. After speaking to the class and having 75 children all trying to write with their feet Trish decided she absolutely loved it and this is what she wanted to do.

Trish has travelled to many schools and places she has spoken include Winton, Longreach, Cairns, Townsville, Toowoomba and local Brisbane areas. She has also spoken at a school in Adelaide which coincided with a medical conference that she was attending, as well as a couple of schools in western New South Wales. She has also mentored a young lad on photography. Trish does all this on a voluntary basis.

What Trish loves about public speaking is that she can do this because as a child she was extremely shy and would only ever speak to somebody if they spoke to her first. So for her to get up and speak to hundreds of kids just shows that you can achieve anything when you have a passion.

Being told that you were worthless or you don’t fit into the perfect body image, doesn’t mean that you are a nobody, with the right attitude you can achieve whatever you want. Trish does just this and there is nothing that this lady can't do or at least she gives it a go.

Her motivational talks have grown from word of mouth and her presentations have evolved with each talk and every new question.

Trish's motivation through all of this is that she wants everyone to appreciate what they have in life and not focus on what they haven’t got. For Trish that means not focusing on that she was born without any arms, also not focusing on all the negativity that she has endured throughout her entire life. It's too easy to give up and many do. Trish could have been a very negative and angry person for being born in a very confronting body because of thalidomide. Trish says that she learnt acceptance at a very early age because she realised that no matter how many times she wished had arms they were never going to grow. It never bothered her that she had no arms but it certainly bothers everybody else. Life has been tough for Trish but she views life as a rollercoaster, that she doesn't want to get off just yet.

Trish has many passions in life that she loves including fishing, gardening, photography, drawing and public speaking. She loves living on Brisbane's Northside and being close to shopping centres, parks, beaches and bushland, so there are always endless photo opportunities and that’s important to her.

Trish doesn't have much planned for the rest of the year as the beginning of this year was so busy and her body is telling her that its time to rest and recuperate. She has a few very local community groups to talk to and that will take her into the end of the year. Trish would love to do more adult talks as well as keeping up with the school talks, but it depends on how her body is feeling.

Trish's motivation is strong though and her aim is to keep talking and hopefully change people’s lives who listen to her. She also is writing a book about her life and is looking forward to having that published.
if you want to read more about her public speaking, there is feedback on there as well as photographs and a little bit more about her life.

She also have a Facebook page: Footsie Photos

and an Instagram account: footsiephoto

Another great story by Robyn Baker


Hoshindo Dojo returns to Brisbane in triumph

village buzz everton park



village buzz everton park

Glenn Stephenson Shihan, Chief Instructor of Seiwakai Gojuryu in Australia, Malwina Martin and Rod Martin.

We reported (Refer to previous article here) recently that members of the Hoshindo karate dojo were about to head for Japan for an annual karate training camp and to be grade. After an exhausting but hugely successful trip for training and belt grading in Omagari, Akita, Japan, all members of the touring party were awarded the belts they were aiming for and the women, particular, were triumphant.


village buzz everton park

Taking a break in training were, from left, Rod Martin, Malwina Martin, Maia Martin, Omigari locals Haruka and Kei Kato and Mia Anderson.

village buzz everton park

Hoshindo members Janine Boothroyd, left, and Mia Anderson Martin during their trip to Japan.

Malwina Martin excelled to become one of the few women to hold 5th Dan Black belt in Gojuryu Seiwakai whilst Dr Janine Boothroyd completed the test for her 4th Dan. Both women left little to chance as they trained 5 hours each day in the heat of summertime Japan for a gruelling 6 days. Then in front of a panel of peers from around the world, both women performed their Kata under the watchful eye of Seiichi Fujiwara Shihan. After finishing the grading with ferocious kumite (sparring) both women were exultant as they passed the tests and were awarded their new grades.


Maia Martin and two young fans who are pupils in Seiichi Fujiwara Shihan’s karate school.

Also successful were Maia Martin (2nd Dan black belt) and Mia Anderson (1st Dan), who also went on to pass her 1st Dan in the All Japan Karatedo Federation (JKF) Gojukai.


Chief Instructor Rod Martin could barely contain his excitement for the girls of Hoshindo as they excelled in what was previously a Male dominated sport. Rod Shihan says he is more happy with this than passing his own 6th Dan Grading in the JKF Gojukai in Wakayama city.


Maia Martin (2nd Dan) and Luke Morrison (1st Kyu) went on to compete in the National Championships in Australia after the training in Japan and both reached the quarter finals. Dojo members are proud of their efforts are proud of their efforts.

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How fortunate are we in our little Northside pocket?

Surrounded by Mountains to Mangroves area and living so close to three of Brisbane's important nature conserves makes our local area worth protecting.

With Downfall Creek Bushland Centre (Raven Street Reserve), Chermside Hills and Bunyaville State forest on our doorstep we truly live in a wonderfully unique area.

Bunyaville Conservation Park

Bunyaville Conservation Park is bordered by Everton Hills, Albany Creek and Bridgeman Downs. Access to the area is via Old Northern Road and is open 7.30am-5pm daily.

There are great picnic areas with wheelchair accessible toilets, BBQs, drinking water, car parking and picnic tables for a perfect day out. (There are no rubbish bins so please remove any rubbish you might have).

There are plenty of walking tracks also. Guided tours and talks can be arranged through the Environmental Education Centre on (07)3353 4356 or via their website and there are programs designed to suit school aged children.

Raven Street Reserve

Downfall Creek Bushland Centre is located within the Chermside Hills Reserve at 815 Rode Road and is opened every day. The Education Centre opened Monday-Thursday 9am-4pm. There are numerous children's activities held throughout the year along with guided walks and events for all. For more information check their website (Downfall Creek Bushland Centre) or Contact (07)3403 8888.

There are picnic areas, a car park, walking tracks, drinking water, wheelchair access, playground, BBQs, public toilets and a 1/2 court basketball. There also is a sensory trail which is wheelchair accessible with a continuous handrail, braille, interpretive signage and raised text.

The centre also has a meeting room with kitchen facilities available for hire for community-based organisations, government and corporate groups are also welcome.

Chermside Hills Reserve

Chermside Hills Reserve has car parking available on Hamilton Road at Milne Hill Reserve near the fauna bridge and is open 24 hours daily with only the car parking being locked off after 6pm.

This area has many walking tracks and it's advisable to take plenty of drinking water. The views within this area are breathtaking and if you're walking when there is low light it is also advisable to take a torch.

It's also always a good idea to bring water, sunscreen, protection from the sun and insect repellent.

All of these areas are home to wallabies, koalas, echidnas, lorikeets, possums, kookaburras, and a myriad of birdlife and reptiles.

Do you get wildlife where you live?

We'd love to know what wildlife you have visiting you.

Written by guest blogger: Robyn Baker

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$50 Million Makeover Planned for Brookside Shopping Centre

Brookside Shopping Centre has announced that further works are set to begin as part of a $50 million makeover, with the central cross road of the shopping centre poised to become a revitalised hub and food precinct for shoppers.

These works are in conjunction with the opening of Target, Cotton On Mega and Sportsgirl, prior to Christmas this year.

Brookside has commenced construction work, to give the 46-year-old shopping centre a modern makeover including façade upgrades, contemporary interiors and tenancy remixing, in line with existing and emerging customer needs and expectations.

The centre court area will be transformed into a food and meeting hub with casual dining and communal spaces. The look and feel of the interiors will be warm and inviting, emulating the Queenslander style that is so prominent within homes in the Mitchelton / Brookside trade area.

These works also involve building in the large void currently in centre court, to create more floor space to increase the food offer available.

Centre Manager, Mr Russell Shaw said that “The planning for this $50 million makeover was inspired by the aspirations of our customers whilst still maintaining the convenience and intimacy that Brookside has long established.”

“As well as the families in the trade area, the customer base also includes a very loyal older demographic and young, vibrant singles and couples moving into the area. Creating a retail offer and community space that connects and resonates with our customers’ needs and wants will be key in making this a project a success.”

Mr Shaw said that with the introduction of Cotton On Mega, together with Sportsgirl, Target, and the new centre court food hub, that Brookside Shopping Centre was well positioned to attract additional key retail offers, incremental customer patronage and future growth.

The Buchan Group were appointed to design the shopping centre makeover – the same architects who designed the newly refurbished Toowong Village, Wintergarden and Robina Town Centre. Building companies Broad and Mettle are jointly undertaking the construction project.

The Shopping Centre will remain open during the construction and refurbishments, reassuring disruption to shoppers and retailers will be minimised.

For updates visit their Facebook page or visit the centre.

Source: Brookside Shopping Centre Press Release.


“Hope for Alec” Heroes and Villians Trivia Night

hope for alec
hope for alec

Photography: Danielle O'Brien


Not all superheroes wear capes...The families of children battling Sanfilippo Syndrome are the true superheroes. Help Alec Morrice and his family's mission to fund a treatment for this deadly disease at the Hope for Alec 'Heroes and Villians' Trivia Night

Calling all superheroes...Hope for Alec Trivia returns in AUGUST 2017. Please join us for a night of fun, facts and fundraising themed 'Heroes and Villians'.

Located at Ferny Grove State School, tickets are available for $35 per person or $300 for a table of 10 and includes gourmet pizza and snacks with lots of superhero fun to be had and fantastic prizes to be WON!

So get your mask and cape on, team up and ask your clever friends to join you for a great night out for your favourite charity! You can either decorate your table or dress yourselves in super hero costumes – it's up to you and all good FUN.

Please book a table of 10 where possible or alternatively if you would like to BOOK INDVIDUALLY we can allocate you to a table. Please email Alec's super mum, Michelle Morrice (, and she will happily team you up! DON'T BE PUT OFF if you don't have a full table, we'll make sure you have a great night!

Doors open at 6:00pm for 6:30 start. Please note, BYO alcohol and drinks.

About Alec

Alec entered our world almost two years to the day after his big sister Sienna. A nuchal fold scan had shown the possiblity of a child with Downs Syndrome. After a nervous wait, the results of an amniocentesis returned negative for any of the tested genetic abnormalities. We were reassured our child would have the same opportunities as any other child entering the world.

So on the 8th January 2007, Alec arrived with all the hope we as parents could dream for his future. We had our pigeon pair, both healthy and beautiful. Our hearts were full and our lives couldn't have been more perfect.

When Alec was a toddler, there was really no one thing that presented as unusual. It was lot of little things. As a baby, Alec suffered from reflux and every time he got a cold, he would develop a croup-like cough. This was all relatively common for a young child, so at that stage there were no red flags in our minds.

Alec was reaching all his milestones (crawling, walking, talking) when they should have been met. He was a fussy eater but the paediatrician said this was nothing to worry about and recommended we seek the assistance of an Occupational Therapist, as this was most likely a sensory rather than a food issue.

At the age of three, we were approached by a carer at Alec's daycare, as she was concerned he wasn't hearing well. After six months of repeated testing, due to his age, he was diagnosed with bi-lateral senso-neural hearing loss.

Alec had passed the newborn hearing screening at birth and he was tested for the most common genetic causes for hearing loss and nothing abnormal was found. Due to the fact he could talk well and had passed the newborn screening, we were advised it was most likely a deteriorating loss.

Alec was also hospitalised several times to have his ears cleaned out and to also have grommets inserted. It was during one of these hospitalisations that the anaesthetist advised us to have his neck checked as he had really limited movement. We had his neck x-rayed and scanned and again nothing dramatic presented.

As Alec got older we had difficulties with his behaviour as the “terrible twos” seemed to drag into the “terrible threes” then fours. After approaching a paediatrician, we went to a clinical psychologist to undertake Autism testing. However, Alec did not quite fit the criteria for Autism. They gave a diagnosis of ADHD with ODD and we were given medication for Alec, and were told to attend parenting classes.

We kept going back to the paediatrician as none of these methods were helping and the paediatrician would just put him on a different medication. We felt that this paediatrician was not the best fit for us, so sought the assistance of another. The second paediatrician diagnosed Alec with Autism. Again, we were being told by other professionals that he was too social to fit this diagnosis. We were so frustrated as we knew something was wrong!

How could one child have all these medical issues and not fit any of the diagnoses we were being given? Other things that had appeared were muscle tone issues (Alec would fall when running, so saw a physiotherapist); problems with fine motor skills (Alec has trouble holding a pencil, so saw an occupational therapist); protruding tongue and dribbling (Alec saw a speech therapist); intermittent vomiting episodes with no cause (more scans and testing).

We recalled the paediatrician mentioned as part of her Autism diagnosis she generally took blood and urine tests to ensure she wasn't missing anything. At one of our appointments we reminded her of this and she sent Alec off for these tests. We later returned as she wanted to re-test Alec as the original test showed something, "a smear on the test", but nothing conclusive. The paediatrician would not tell me what they were looking for as she obviously didn't want to worry me, but being a mother and inquisitive, I looked up the name written on the pathology form (MPS) and Googled it.

For the first time, I could tick off the symptoms he was exhibiting. As devastating as it was, it was a light bulb moment. Still unconfirmed, Alec undertook this test and again this smear was showing so we were sent to meet a metabolic specialist. During the initial visit Alec had more blood tests sent to Adelaide for final clarification. We were buoyed by this visit as the specialist said he did not believe Alec had the Syndrome as he did not present with the same physical appearance as other children with the Syndrome present.

Most children with Sanfilippo presented with initial symptoms around pre-school age but Alec was attending a fully integrated school and could speak, read, write and walk. They were so confident that he did not have the Syndrome that they made Alec an outpatient as they believed we would not be back to see them. On the 9th of January, 2015, a day after Alec's eighth birthday, we received the phone call that changed our lives. Alec had Sanfilippo Syndrome MPSIII Type C.

The initial impact of this news was one of shock and despair. We were mourning a loss that hadn't happened yet and blaming ourselves as we are the reason Alec has this condition. We also jumped head first into researching the condition to ensure we were fully informed. We have since realised that drowning in a sea of despair is not going to help Alec and what we want for his future.

We have learned to let go of those things that cause us stress and to enjoy the here and now. We are committed to making a future for our children filled with love and laughter and we surround ourselves with people who love our family and accept Alec. We do not treat Alec differently to his sister Sienna.

The toughest thing that we deal with on a day-to-day basis is to minimise Alec's behavioural impacts on his sister and in the school environment. We have changed the school that Alec attends to one that better suits his needs and with the support of our workplaces organised more flexible working hours to enable attendance at medical appointments and to be there for Alec whenever assistance is required. Of course, some days are harder than others, but it is amazing how a smile and a cuddle from Alec, makes all these hardships melt away.

Our hope is for the advancement of clinical trials to help develop a treatment and hopefully one day a cure for this condition so that children with Sanfilippo can live a life that every child deserves. We hope the wider community can help spread the word and help us to make exactly this happen.

We also hope are that our son will be able to live a life surrounded by understanding and kindness. His life may not be the one that we previously dreamt for him but if it is one in which he has no fear or pain, feels loved and is full of things that bring him happiness, we could not wish for more!



Can these 50 year olds save Australian Cricket?

local cricketers play for Australia

local cricketers play for Australia

Local lads hit it out of the park

Three players from our area have been selected for the Australian Over 50s Cricket Team which is about to set off on an inaugural tour to the UK.

Team selection occurred at a cricket carnival held in Sydney last November. Paul Stenhouse from Alderley, was chosen as captain of the Cricket Australia-sanctioned team while Geoff Doyle (McDowall) and Michael Munro (Albany Creek) made the side as well.

One of three Queensland teams participating in the carnival, included Paul, Geoff and Michael in its ranks, eventually won the carnival and are proud holders of the trophy.

"I hadn't been expecting it and I got goosebumps when I received a call telling me I had been chosen as captain of the touring team," said Paul. "We are all incredibly proud to be part of Australia's first-ever Over 50s Cricket Tour and have the honour of wearing the baggy green while representing this great country of ours."

The forthcoming tour will run from July 13 to August 12 and will include 15 one-day games against English country sides, two games against representative English sides and one against a Welsh side.

"It's a lot of cricket to play in a relatively short time but we plan to give a good account of ourselves. The greatest challenge will be to manage the impact on our bodies but we will have a squad of 18 players which will allow us an occasional rest,” said Paul.

"I have personally trained harder for this tour than I ever did in the 43 seasons I have played cricket and I'm sure the other team members have put in an equal effort."

Over 50s Cricket is very strong in the UK but still in its infancy here in Australia. Paul, Geoff and Michael believe that the tour will help to spread the word that players can still enjoy representative cricket well past the age when they thought they'd have to retire. They also hope there will be many more tours and that veteran’s cricket will go from strength to strength in the country.

We at Village Buzz hope so too and we would like to wish our newest (we couldn't say youngest, now could we?) national team every success on tour and look forward to keeping you updated with their results.

Quick player profiles

Paul Stenhouse: Paul was born in Rockhampton where he played cricket most afternoons in the backyard. He has played for the Easts/Redlands Cricket Club for many years and won the First Grade Premiership and the XXXX One Day Final. He also played professionally in Lancashire where he took 125 wickets and scored 1250 runs in a season. His will be the second baggy green in the family and he reckons his dad would have been extremely proud of that.

Geoff Doyle: Geoff has played cricket for many years and has held a number of responsible roles in the sport. He has represented Australia in triathlon and is looking forward to again experiencing the passion and pride that comes from being part of an Australian team.

Michael Munro: Michael joined Gold Crest Cricket Club when he was 16 and is now in his 36th season playing for them. He played for 10 years as vice-captain in the team captained by his father which won the Warehouse Cricket Association annual competition. Things have now come full circle and he currently plays as vice-captain in a team captained by his son and which won the same competition.


Did you know this about Mother’s Day

Happy Mother's Day

The majority of countries that celebrate Mother's Day do so on the second Sunday of May. On this day, it is common for Mothers to be celebrated with presents and special attention from their families, friends and loved ones.

But it wasn't always this way...

The true origin of Mother's Day was from the Greeks and Romans where they held a festival in honour of the two Mother Goddesses Rhea and Cybele.

In the 16th Century, in other parts of Europe, christians started celebrating the mother's day for one mother which is the Virgin Mary the Mother of Christ.

In the 17th Century, England broadened the celebration from celebrating one mother,  to include all mothers and called it "Mothering Day."

Mothering Day also provided a reprieve from the fasting and penance of Lent. Families across England enjoyed a family feast; Mothers were presented with cakes and flowers; and beloved, distant children came home to visit.

Happy Mother's Day

When the British came to America they abandoned the celebration of Mothering Day.  The first American Mother's Day was first conceptualized by Julia Ward in her Mother’s Day Proclamation in 1870 and later on adapted by Anna Reeves Jarvis. Anna's purpose for creating the Mother's Day Club was to improve sanitary conditions and try to lower infant mortality by fighting disease and curbing milk contamination.

In the postwar years, Anna and other women organized Mother's Friendship Day picnics in order to re-unite families and neighbors that had been divided between Union and Confederate Sides of the civil war.

Happy Mother's Day

Anna Jarvis (daughter) was inspired to organized the first Mothers' Day to commemorate her mother's death.  Her request was honoured, and on May 10, 1908, the first official Mother's Day celebration took place at Andrew's Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia and a church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Mother's Day became popular in other cities and states in the U.S. so President Woodrow Wilson officially set aside the second Sunday in May in 1914 for the holiday.

Australia has followed on with the US version of Mothers Day.

The tradition of giving gifts to mothers on Mother's Day in Australia was started by Mrs Janet Heyden, a resident of Leichhardt, Sydney, in 1924. She began the tradition during a visit to a patient at the Newington State Home for Women, where she met many lonely and forgotten mothers. To cheer them up, she rounded up support from local school children and businesses to donate and bring gifts to the women. Every year thereafter, Mrs Heyden raised increasing support for the project from local businesses and even the local Mayor. The day has since become commercialised. Traditionally, the chrysanthemum is given to mothers for Mother's Day as the flower is naturally in season during May (autumn in Australia) and ends in "mum", a common affectionate shortening of "mother" in Australia. Men will often wear a chrysanthemum in their lapels in honour of mothers.

No matter how it started it is simply a wonderful way to celebrate your own mother, enjoy being pampered (even if it is only for 1 day) all the mothers out there.



Joyce Peirce – a Chermside West pioneer

Joyce Peirce Village Buzz
Joyce Peirce Village Buzz

Joyce pictured in her back yard with units in the background where not long ago was a grass paddock. Picture by Allan Jackson.

Driving around the Village Buzz area with all its houses, units and commercial properties it’s difficult to imagine a time when it was all bush with a only few people living here and there. I must confess, however, that I hadn’t given the matter much thought until I met up with Chermside West local Joyce Peirce who was an early settler in the area.

Believe it or not, but the house where she still stays was only reachable by a bicycle track through the bush when she first lived on the property. Before we get to that, however, I had better go back to the beginning of the story in Kedron in 1930.

Joyce was born in that year and lived in a house in Shamrock Street with her mum, dad and siblings and went to school at Wooloowin State Commercial High. Her mum died when she was 12 but her father, a furrier, worked from home and brought the kids up by himself.

Word War II was still going on and she can vividly remember the butter and clothing rationing which made things difficult for Australians in those days. Another vivid memory is of Brisbane residents providing hospitality for visiting servicemen by inviting them home for tea.

The war finished at about the same time she turned 14 and left school – as many children did in those days – and went out to look for work. She became a typist at Bryce’s and enjoyed the life of a young woman about town with weekly dances at the War Memorial Hall in Kedron, occasional balls at Cloudland and regular visits to the movies including the Regent Theatre in Queen Street.

She had her first child, Tom, in 1952 and moved to Windsor and then to Inala where she spotted and ‘caught’ Bill Pierce, who was a returned soldier and who worked on the railways at Roma Street as a checker.

The couple decided to make their home on the land that Joyce and her brother had bought years previously in Chermside West. Her piece of that cost £450 which she eventually paid off at the rate of £1 per week.

Her brothers Roy, a horse-dealer, and George, a truck driver, were already living on land nearby. Bill and Joyce first lived in rented house in Trouts Road while a temporary dwelling was built by Bill and her brothers just up the slope from her present house.

The temporary dwelling built by Bill Peirce and Joyce’s brothers just up the slope from where the present house is sited

As mentioned previously, there was only a bicycle track leading to the house in those days and the only other people nearby were her brothers and a family who ran a pig farm located between their property and Rode Road. Brother Roy had a horse and sulky but Joyce was never really comfortable with horses and depended on her bicycle for transport.

She would ride off down the track to Chermside, park the bicycle under the police station and catch the tram to town to go to work. That was fine until she broke her leg but Roy volunteered to drive her to the bottom of the hill in the sulky from where a Bryce’s lorry would pick her up.

In 1961 and with a growing family, Bill and Joyce decided they needed a proper place to live but didn’t have very much money. A new house would have cost them $1400-$1500 so the solution was to buy a house which had belonged to a headmaster in Petrie for $200, cut it into three sections, shift it to its present location and then recombine the pieces.

A view of the paddock which is now covered by dwelling units.

Access to the property was still difficult but Bill and her brothers had been cutting trees to sell for firewood to supplement their income. They cleared a sizeable area on the slop leading down the hill to Chermside and had it graded in exchange for a carton of beer by men sand-mining in the neighbourhood. This shrewd bribe provided easier access to Chermside where Hamilton Road is today.

Joyce eventually gave up her work in town to concentrate on the home where her activities included milking the goats, collecting chook eggs for sale and taking the kids to catch the bus to school. Bill would milk their small herd of cows and they sold the surplus milk as well.

She remembers she didn’t see all that much of her own kids in those days as they were always out exploring in the surrounding bush; swimming in Albany Creek and cooking potatoes, onions and eels they caught there on camp fires.

The house which replaced the temporary dwelling on Joyce’s property soon after it was moved there from Petrie

Concluding our interview, I asked her how much had changed since her days in Kedron and, later, in Chermside West. The short answer to that question is everything; according to her, the only thing that still looks the same now as it did then is Tom Wallace Cycles in Lutwyche Road.

She says she’s had a good life as a Chermside West pioneer, wife to Bill (not good looking but really nice) and mother to four of her own and two of her deceased sister’s kids. I can easily believe it was a good life but I don’t believe, as she also says, that hasn’t been an interesting one too.

The $200 house still in pretty good nick all these years later. Picture by Allan Jackson.

Story for Village Buzz: Allan Jackson



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