When I tell people my Mum rarely drinks, never smoked, doesn’t swear and often goes to Church on Sundays, people raise their eyebrows and question where I came from. Okay, so I don’t smoke anymore, but really, I’m not THAT bad!! We just do some things differently…
Regardless, we spend a helluva lot of time together because our families are close and Mum and my wonderful stepfather Ken, do an enormous amount to help out on the home front. They even walk the dogs for us when I’m strapped for time. (I know – I’m spoilt.) When the kids were very young, they’d have sleep-overs at Grandma and Papa’s practically every Friday night so Fletch and I could have a social life. (Again, yes, very spoilt…) And if Mum babysits, I often arrive home to find the ironing all done. (Okay, I’ll shut-up now…)
But I also have siblings – two older brothers and a younger sister – so most of the family get-togethers involve lots of relatives with aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews and fabulous, noisy mayhem. So the one day of the year I get Mum all to myself is when I take her to the annual Crown Mother’s Day Lunch. It’s always a very special day and we both feel very lucky to be included.
Mum and me ready to head off to Crown
This year’s event was at the uber cool Mr Hive restaurant at Crown’s Metropol Hotel. Ken even drove us in – bless him – so we didn’t have to bother with parking or a taxi.
Mr Hive Restaurant at Crown
As we walked out of the lift, you could hear the buzz from the restaurant – the place bursting with excited conversation as we arrived – everybody trying to get around to as many people as possible before we took our seats. The room looked stunning, each table adorned with a beautiful floral arrangement.
Host Ann Peacock
As always, Crowns’ General Manager of Public Relations, Ann Peacock was there, stylishly dressed and greeting everyone with a warm smile. Knowing what Annie was going through, with her mum, Susan, battling cancer, I knew it must be a tough call. It was the first time in sixteen years I’d been to the lunch and not caught up with Susan. For Annie to see everyone there with their mums and not have her own by her side must have been bloody awful.
Yet still she took to the podium and made her annual Mother’s Day speech. Bravely, she spoke about her Mum’s ordeal and what Susan and her family were going through. Every year I take a tissue to this lunch because something emotional happens and I’m a big sook. But this year I wasn’t alone. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house when Annie finished and was met with a standing ovation. She spoke with grace and dignity, her words of love and pain, direct and honest. God knows how she didn’t fall apart… I’m betting she’s inherited a good dose of her mother’s strength.
If there’s no greater love than that of a mother for her child, you can imagine the feeling in Hive over lunch – all these mothers with their children – to whom they have given so much love and support, enabling their kids to get to where they are today – it’s a pretty powerful vibe.
Jules Lund with his mum, Judy
Here’s a photo collection of some of the mums and their sometimes famous off-spring – starting with radio host Jules Lund, whose mum was giving him an earful over his new piercings – all part of an on-air dare. Jules has promised Judy he’ll have them removed as soon as possible. And yes, there is also one just under his lip – it’s not clear in the pic.
Brigitte Duclos with her mum, Shelia.
Jane Kennedy and her mum, Jill
Heloise Waislitz and her mum, Jeanne Pratt
Patti and Lauren Newton
Andrea Moss and her mum, Diane John
Lauren Phillips with her mum, Liz Coningsby
Tania Buckley and Janine Minnici
Tim Campbell and his mum, Heather
Anthony Callea and his mum, Santina
We were lucky enough to be on the same table as the delightful Anthony Callea and his partner, Tim Campbell – both famous and talented in their own right and a gorgeous couple. Mum wanted clarification though – she couldn’t believe Santina was Anthony’s mother. ‘She’s far too young!’ Mum exclaimed.
A highlight of the day was hearing Anthony and Tim sing together, along with leading vocalist Susie Ahern – a truly spine-tingling moment. And when Anthony sang ‘The Perfect Fan,’ for his Mum, the tissues came out again and there was another standing ovation.And then there was another standing ovation…
- And then there was another standing ovation…
I could relate to that song. My Mum has always been my perfect fan, as most mothers are of their children – whether they’re in the public eye or not.
I was part of an acting workshop recently where some of the students revealed stories about traumatic childhoods where they were abused by their parents. Shocking stories that made me sad and angry. And also very, very grateful. I have only ever known huge love and support from my Mum. I remember when I first started reading the news and Mum would phone me almost every night to tell me what a brilliant job I had done – even when I hadn’t.
Before we knew it, it was time for dessert. Whoa – now THAT’S what I call a dessert! That’s one thing Mum and I DO both share – a love of sweet treats.
As we tucked in, I looked around the room at all the other mums and felt quite smug. There were lots of other lovely mothers there, but quite frankly, I know mine’s the best of them all. It’s just not debatable.
(Love you, Mum. xxx)