Posted in Interviews With Living Family Members

Memories of our Mum – Part 3



Mum wearing her red dress - May 2000
Mum wearing her red dress – May 2000

Although this isn’t the best photo I have of Mum, I love it because it shows mum wearing the colour red, which was unusual for her.  I always though she looked lovely in it.

Tell me something else about Mum and her Dorcas activities, her dressmaking or her nomination for Adventist Women of the Year.

From Kellie

Kellie Purdy
Kellie Purdy

– mum dedicated a lot of her time to Dorcas and trying to help those in need.  She would never give money but would provide food or clothing to people. She would be at the church every week organising the ladies for the whole day, sometimes sewing or sometimes packing boxes to be sent to ADRA

Example of type of Food Box that Mum helped prepare
Example of type of Food Box that Mum helped prepare


Then, there were the stalls in Parramatta, again up before dawn to make her way into Parramatta and not home until late. Very tiring but she loved doing that type of work.

Mum worked tirelessly for the benefit of others
Mum worked tirelessly for the benefit of others


Our Mum - Madeleine Di Salvia
Our Mum – Madeleine Di Salvia

From Noeleen –

Noeleen aged 75 years
Noeleen aged 75 years

Mum was a good dressmaker, and not only made for others but also kept us children well-clothed.  I remember during and after the war when dress materials were rationed, expensive and hard to get people just had to do the best they could.  In the winter we three children always had a nice overcoat each.  Woollen materials were not as colour-fast in those days, fading over time even just from the light. If last year’s coat was starting to look a bit faded she would unpick the coat and make it up on the other side of the material, or she would take a coat that I had grown out of and cut it down to make a coat for Gwen.  A small piece of velvet from the scrap box and we had a “new” coat with a velvet trim, such as a collar or pocket flap, that made it look different from the old one.  Doug always had his coat as well, and if our material was blue, she could use it for him as well.

Sewing Essentials
Sewing Essentials

As I remember, the Adventist Woman of the Year certificate was given to Mum  in recognition of her Dorcas Welfare work which had included doing a lot to help victims of flooding that had happened earlier in the year.  The flooding was quite widespread, with even the local creeks causing problems as well as areas that usually flooded out towards and around Riverstone. (I remember Riverstone used to flood up to the first floor balcony of the local pub). Of course, Windsor and Richmond were in trouble as well, but that was further out. 

I remember getting a phone call from someone at the conference office asking me to bring Mum to a Greater Sydney Conference-wide meeting on a certain Sabbath afternoon without telling her why.  Well, anyone who knew Mum would know that that was not going to be an easy task – she didn’t usually go to that kind of meeting and always avoided the limelight.  We tried all kinds of schemes but ended up just having to tell her “Look, Mum, we’ve just been asked to get you there – don’t know why!”  Eventually she decided to come with us and she was really quite thrilled to be presented with her certificate.

Adventist Woman of the Year Certificate 1995
Adventist Woman of the Year Certificate 1995


We Miss You Mum



Logo Picture:

Food Box:

Sewing Equipment:


One thought on “Memories of our Mum – Part 3

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