Morning Tea to celebrate the Lyceum Club Brisbane’s Centenary and Book Launch
Good morning President of the Lyceum Club, Dr Deborah Prior, Honorary Life Member, Dr Cathryn Mittelheuser and to my fellow ‘enquiring minds’, welcome to Fernberg.
It is my honour to be Patron of this great Club and I relish the opportunity to help celebrate the launch of an extraordinary record of its history in commemoration of the Club’s centenary.
Let me begin by offering Ruth Kerr my congratulations and thanks.
Congratulations, because researching and writing a book such as this takes a herculean effort.
It takes perseverance, intellectual and possibly physical stamina and a commitment to both this precious club and to the important crafts of research, history and storytelling.
Next, I offer you our thanks.
This book is a beautiful gift, not only for us but to future generations of Queenslanders, particularly its women.
The recording of our histories or ‘her’ stories as we might also say is as vital today as it has ever been.
This is an extraordinary time: as it was 100 years ago, the status of women is shifting.
Constance Smedley, the founder of the Lyceum Club movement was many things artist, journalist, novelist. She was also a feminist and suffragette at a time when, in England at least, women were still denied the vote.
Yet Constance demanded that women assume their rightful place at a table that, until then, had only been set for men.
Hence the idea of a women’s club, devoted to intellectual curiosity, conversation and achievement was born.
And what better way to celebrate 100 years of activities.
Which brings me back to this remarkable book, which I shall be passing on to every woman with daughters, nieces or granddaughters that I know!
In its pages are stories of strength, empowerment, humour, tragedy and inspirational friendships.
It is also a fascinating recollection of our city, of the devastating effects of war, of changing economic and political landscapes, and of the extraordinary strength women have found and continue to find in the company of one another.
Once again Ruth thank you for this remarkable contribution to the Lyceum Club.
It is my absolute pleasure to officially launch your book, truly a generous gift to the perpetual education of us all.
And I congratulate the Club and all its members, past, present and future on achieving this landmark centenary of activities. Here’s to one hundred years more.