Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Women's Petition

from w
On Tuesday I'm going up to Melbourne for a women's gig for the anniversary of the women getting the vote. It's a function at the Federation Square and descendents of some of the women who signed this 30,000 plus petition in 1891 (yeah, it took 17 years to be read and put into action!) are having lunch. Frances May Hillman, y grandmother was a signatory as was her mother.

Frances was born in 1869 at Christchurch, Middlesex, England and her parents migrated to Melbourne. Her father was a gentleman's tailor in Melbourne and one of the founders of the breakaway Australian Church of Dr Charles Strong. They lived in Punt Road Richmond at the time. My grandmother was a piano teacher. She was not yet married when she signed the petition. She married Charles Edward Lay and their children were Jessie Isabel, born 1895, Charles Edward, born 1896, Norma Malvina born 1899, George Francis (my Dad) born 1901 and Harold Kingston born 1906. I knew her in the 40s and she was my first piano teacher when she lived with our family in Swan Hill during the 1940s. One photos of a Grandma, my Mum and a fat baby - well, that was me!

Frances was a quiet, gentle woman, who never ever smacked her children or grandchildren, and not a raging suffragette type at all. But she did sign it. Men at the time thought women too frail and silly to know anything about politics! Hmmm.

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Blogger The Moody Minstrel said...

An awful lot of men are too frail and silly to know much about politics, but they're still in public office!

4:04 AM  

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