Happy Birthday Mum !!

~~~~~~ “On the Occasion of Lorna’s 8Oth Birthday !!” ~~~~~~

Saturday 24th May 2008 – Elwood Beach House afternoon tea party

I have known this lady for quite a while now …. [51years lol]
When I first knew her she was six feet tall !! (my brothers and sister will agree!) As we all grew up and got taller Mum seemed to shrink down into this tasty little package you see before you today! [4’10"] But you know what? She seems even taller now in so many ways.
People say “Well the Grays are …. the Grays!” I’m not sure exactly what that entails but I do know the heart of it is this extraordinary person.
She is resilient, strong, uncompromising, always caring and forgiving, and always always there for us one hundred percent! We have been blessed to have her as a parent and grandparent – to both benefit from and take on and learn her many qualities and principles and we are doubly blessed to have a parent who as we have grown has also become a close friend!
You can always rely on my mum for her time friendship advice sometimes a good argument !!!! She’s always available to listen and will offer whatever help she can give. We are all blessed to have experienced this generosity of spirit through knowing mum and are so pleased to be here to celebrate together today

Happy Birthday Mum!

~ Heather Gray ~ [my big sister!]


A quick rundown on my Mum the most influential person in my life.
This woman was an artist at school who wanted to be a mechanic and a racing car driver – she still has an uncanny knack at hearing the motor’s off ping and knowing what is wrong and what should be done to fix it!
She was a leading ballerina in Australia’s leading Theatrical companies – Borivanski & National Theater – in the 1940’s & 50’s. The company toured all over the southern and eastern coast of Australia and also New Zealand and My mum was not adverse to standing up to the company to make it be performed Right! One patron – Dame Elizabeth Murdoch – still remembers her and smiles at the memory of “Such a good little dancer that one!” :O)
By day she was a bank clerk as well and good friend to many influential people who have gone on into big business in Melbourne and indeed making huge acting and dancing careers too! [Her best friend was the voice of Dr Who’s Dahlects!!! :O) “Exterminate!” lol :O)]

Marrying my father, who was an Opera singer in the same company and a fitter & turner by day, stopped her dancing and working – marriage did that in those days – and so she had us 5 children and became a hard working house mother and helper at kindergarten and school – mother’s club, canteen and school committee. She also fostered our love of scouts and theatre and assisted with costumes in both the local scout production – a thing she still does today – and in the school and various amateur productions we have been involved in over the years of our development.

Yet up until just before my birth she nursed her [100yo] grandmother and her 65yo mother until their deaths [just 3 weeks apart]. And then nursed her 75yo father until his death when I was 8. When I was 10, my mother suffered a humiliating break-up and divorce yet during the break up, with no help from any one but one pair of friends, she still kept us children fed sheltered and ignorant of the trauma. At the same time during this break up she also nursed my father’s mother until she was hospitalized and died with no help or thanks from my father or his family.

My sister went to teachers college my brother and I were in high school and my younger brothers in primary school and finally Mum went back to work. She had no knowledge left of where banking had gone, could not do ballet any more or teach it and so turned to her other skills – childcare and cooking. she ran a creche during the day at the local sports club – even looking after the children of prominent actors and politicians – Victoria’s one time controversial premier Jeff Kennett being one.
But by night she worked at a coffee lounge – “The Greenman” where entertainers began their careers – “The Seekers” folk group, Tommy Emanuel, Joe Dulchie “Shuddupper yer face” and many many more Australian artists have all begun, played or been seen at the Greenman Coffee Lounge in the 60’s 70’s & 80’s.
Mum moved on to Pizza deliveries and became Lady Lorna in Fitzroy St St.Kilda pizza shops of Topolinos and co. Finally we tried to keep her home with all our grandchildren needing her and eventually the need for one of her knees to be replaced ended her gallivanting about lol
But as I said she is still doing costumes for Camberwell Showtime [scout show] although she keeps saying “This year will be the last!” it never is :O) And last year [January 2007] I even took her on the Australian Scout Jamboree! A two week Camp with BP’s grandson and 10,000 teenagers! :O)

This lady has 5 children and 9 grand children. [I’ve tried to add to that with a few step children over the years! :O)] But the amount of people throughout the years all over Melbourne who have considered my mum as theirs or their friend or have just benefited from her work is immeasurable!

When I was little I just wanted to be a mum – like her.
I have spent my life trying to be like her and failing miserably
This tells me that :
- though I may want to do it all even more spectacularly … and I try and fail …
My mum just did it!

I raise my glass to my mother I know I will never be as good as her!
But I’ll still keep trying !

? !!! B R A V O Lorna Edith Smart Gray B R A V O !!! ?

Currently unavailable for purchase

On the recent occasion of my mother’s 8Oth birthday My sister [the eldest of the mob] was the one to deliver the eulogy ….. er …. speech! :O)

I was having a hard time thinking of anything to mark this occasion and pay tribute to my mother and all she means to me to post in here as I have for my father. For me my mother is both my saviour and my antagonist. It was easy to encapsulate my father and I realise it is because I could … where as my mother is not so easy to put in a nutshell! I know her so much better and I have so much to love her for [and loads that has annoyed me!] Thankfully my sister’s speech said it all and I have asked her for a copy so I could post it in here and keep it for my own treasure!

I am my mother’s daughter in so many ways both irritating and honouring.
Where I want to be like my father I am …..
but I am who I am because my Mum loves me for whatever I am!


mother, love, tribute, adgray

adgray is a writer and a poet
- telling stories all her life,
- writing them down once she learnt how
“Scribbling! Always scribling!”
… and no there was nothing to be done about it!
Her poetry came later when the gift found her to be a ZETE segue (Zographonic Extemporanious Treatise Ekphrasis)
At times she can go into a trance-like state as poetry flows through her to the page and screen
Thank you for coming to read my words! ~ adgray~

View Full Profile


  • handprintz
    handprintzover 6 years ago

    That’s lovely Alyssa,well written by you and your sister,and a fitting tribute on the occassion of Lorna’s 80th birthday,your mum l am sure is very proud!!

  • Thank you I’m trying to load a photo of her – shall sort it tomorrow I think :O)
    we are very proud of her and I guess she is of us too :O)
    Thank you for reading our words :O)

    – adgray

  • cheetaah
    cheetaahover 6 years ago

    Very well writen, it’s great, we have a saying that says mothers are the light of the house. God Bless her and I wish her a Happy Birthday.

  • I like that saying! I can envision just how that would work –
    The happiness of love and play
    brightest on a rainy day
    the sudden flare of anger bright
    a warming glow to last all night
    Yes a mother’s love is the light of the home!

    Thank you Hasmig for giving me these words :O) ?

    – adgray

  • hilarydougill
    hilarydougillover 6 years ago

    A beautiful tribute to a beautiful lady. Happy Birthday. (she is so obviously a Gemini, fitting all that into one lifetime haha)

  • Yep! Gemini through and through !! … and so very hard to understand for it! I was never able to estimate her mood because it was always changing so easily! and it would frustrate the daylights out of me a mere Arian :O)
    Thanks for wishing her well :O)

    – adgray

  • gynnirox
    gynniroxover 6 years ago

    awwwwwwwwwwww. i wish i did something like that! you’re right about a lot of things ( especially the good argument bit lol<=OD )
    luv the whole thing, truly beautiful

  • Thank you Lauren my darling baby girl :O)
    I know when I loose my mum I will only have to look into your smiling eyes to remind me of her :O)
    I wish you had’ve been there to celebrate it with her too! She is so proud of you and your siblings as am I :O)
    Love You Loads! :O) xox? x ? x ?xox

    – adgray

  • Mechellerene
    Mechellereneover 6 years ago

    Wonderful!! I soooo enjoyed that.

  • Thank you Michelle for coming to read my words :O)
    Must get a pic of her loaded :O) Trying to organise a collaboration or something – she’s so eclectic! lol :O)
    Chookas! ?

    – adgray

  • Jan Stead JEMproductions
    Jan Stead JEMp...over 6 years ago

    Oh Alyssa….that, both pieces of writing…brought tears to my eyes!!!

    I hope your mum had/has a wonderful birthday. These will make her day!!!

    What beautiful daughters she has…and I am sure your children will see you in much the same light, as the wonderful, talented, gifted, caring, loving and special person you are.

    : )

    KUDOS 2 U!!!

  • I think she had a great day :O) Pity my kids missed it but she knew they were there in spirit :O)
    Thank you for reading my words :O) Chookas! ?
    PS – kudos?

    – adgray

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait