Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday Memorandum musing on camellias

I thought I'd better snap some of the camellias I see on my walk as the current wind will probably blow a lot of the blooms off the bushes - such a delicate flower.

I do like to see all these anonymous looking bushes suddenly bloom for a short time each spring. 

But I'm more used to seeing white blooms as those were dominant in New Zealand where they are also used as a symbol of women gaining the vote.  They even feature on the $10 note which has a picture of Kate Sheppard who led the suffrage campaign.

Back in October 1893 when the campaign to give women the right to vote had succeeded in legislation being introduced in parliament, the women campaigning gave each member of parliament who they knew would support them a white camellia to wear on their lapel. 

The legislation passed- the first country to remove a gender qualification for parliamentary elections.

The day is still marked in New Zealand with many women attending a celebratory suffrage day breakfast, including several hosted by government ministers and senior women in other walks of life.  Often these include singing several suffrage songs.

I attended may such breakfasts while I was there and all the celebrations of the 100 year anniversary of women's suffrage in 1993.

Amazing what thoughts a pretty flower can trigger

Waving to you all and wishing you all a good week


Eileen T said...

The camellias are gorgeous and it's interesting to hear their association with the NZ suffrage movement.

Susanne said...

Lovely blooms. Here in the US we are finally getting around to putting women on paper currency (will still be 4 or 5 years hence)- only one has appeared on coins. Maybe we need to break out those suffrage songs more often!

Maggie said...

I too love camellias. I have a red one that has really got going this year. Were you to ask me what camellias remind me of then Madame Bovary would come to mind and the significance of wearing a red or white camellia to her. Takes me back to French A Level days!

debs14 said...

Camellias are so pretty aren't they? I do hope they survive the weather they are forecasting for the next week!

Sian said...

This is really interesting. I didn't know this about the white flower. We have one on our fence, just where I stop the car in the drive, and I'll look at it later on and think about all those women who stood up to give us the vote. We have elections here in a couple of weeks.

Wishing you a great week ahead and thanking you for my newly acquired knowledge

Patio Postcards said...

And we as women still have so far to go. So important for us to continue to have our voices heard. Beautiful flowers

alexa said...

Thank you for educating me - I didn't know this bit of history. Such a lovely flower you have there ...

Cheri said...

Very interesting bit of history. Sort of saddens me how many young women now don't exercise their right to vote after what other women had to go through to gain that precious right for them!