Lyceum Club Brisbane Inc. Christmas Morning Tea
Speech by Mrs Kaye de Jersey: Good morning, everyone – and thank you for your very warm welcome this morning.
I’m truly delighted to be making my first visit to the Club as your Patron, and I look forward to a long and happy association with members during Paul’s tenure as Governor.
I was deeply honoured to accept the role of Patron because of the important role this Club has played in the lives of the women of Brisbane for almost a century.
It is rare today for an organisation to survive for so long and, to me, it’s because the founding principle of Lyceum Clubs has such a strong appeal to women.
In this connection, one of the Government House staff found a newspaper report from 1919, at the time when this Club was formed, which described Lyceum members in a way that still rings true today: “women… who are interested in the advancement of literature, journalism, science, public works, art, and music who desire to promote that good feeling and comradeship which can result only from a knowledge acquired by personal intercourse”.
(I don’t know if Dr Cathryn Mittelheuser found that particular article when she was compiling her history of the Club in 2005 – but I do know that it’s certainly much easier to find such gems today using Trove, the marvellous search-engine created by the National Library of Australia. As a former librarian, I find innovations such as this very exciting and if you haven’t discovered Trove for yourselves, I would certainly recommend it!)
Discovering that article led me to many others, including stories from the thirties and forties of the Christmas meeting of the Club each year. The articles reported faithfully on the outfits worn, the imaginative competitions, the cakes (donated by the President), the décor and floral arrangements, and, of course, the singing, which was always a feature. I am delighted that that tradition has continued through the Lyceum Singers and through the Doreen Ord Lyceum Club Prize.
I know Doreen was a member of very long standing and a lover and supporter of classical music. It is wonderful to see the Club honour her through this prize, and to meet her daughter, Libby – I’m only sorry that we will not have the opportunity to hear this year’s winner, but I’m sure I speak for you all in wishing her every success in her current overseas auditions.
In closing, let me say that, after an exceptionally busy four months since Paul was sworn in as Governor, we are looking forward very much to celebrating Christmas in a traditional way, as we always do, with a Christmas tree, sharing food, and exchanging gifts – essential with our three gorgeous grandchildren! I wish you all a time of peace and comfort, shared with family and friends in the true spirit of the season. Thank you.