Mothers - Keepers of our Hearts

Many of us celebrate Mother’s Day by showing our appreciation for the achievements and efforts of our mothers and mother figures. 

There has been much hard work, sheer determination and, at times, heartbreak for some mothers on the Sunshine Coast over the years. No one worries about you like your mother and when she is gone she can never be replaced. Mothers, and their strengths are truly incredible. 

One such story of a mother’s strength and support is that of Christina Gilvear of Glass House Mountains.

At the age of 43, Christina Gilvears husband and six sons signed up to fight in World War I. 

While caring for the remaining four children and looking after the farm she received word by telegram that three of her sons had been killed on the battlefields. Her husband who was away fighting in France requested permission to be discharged for family reasons. 

A grief stricken Christina Gilvear worked the family farm until her husband returned some time later and kept the “home fires” burning. 

After experiencing such tragedy, Mrs Gilvear continued to raise funds for Red Cross and was well known and respected in the Beerwah Glass House district. 

Wives joined their husbands as they moved into isolated logging areas in the Australian bush. The use of bush sapling poles, canvas tarpaulins and bark roofed huts was common and many Australian families lived that way. A wood stove was used for cooking and heating and water was carted to their hut for drinking. 

The hardship and isolation of bush living on newly arrived migrants to the region is well documented. 

Mother of three children, Nora Elizabeth Dimes, was born in Dublin on October 11, 1886 and married Tom Dimes in 1909. The family packed up and left England for Australia in July, 1927 for a better life. They took up residence at Beerwah in 1927 on an abandoned soldier settlement block.

Hard work and a new life in a hot foreign land must have been difficult for mothers such as Nora who not only helped on the farm but cooked and washed with no electricity or running water. 

Nora Elizabeth Dimes is buried at the Mooloolah Cemetery so far from the green hills of Ireland. These are just a couple of the stories of the mothers who have helped shape our region. 

Thanks to Sunshine Coast Council’s Heritage Library Officers for the words and Picture Sunshine Coast for the images.