As part of the Somerville House Foundation Mothers’ Chapel Service and Morning Tea on Wednesday 10 May, the Somerville House Chapel unveiled a new stained glass window, a project of the School’s wonderful past mothers.
The artists of the stained glass window, Gerry Cummins and Jill Stehn, share the legend for the ‘Mothers’ window:
A blue sky with streaky clouds. Historic Cumbooquepa. Stained glass windows can last for a thousand years. Might the window outlast the building?
The Moreton Bay fig trees, which are so deeply associated with the School. The three massive trunks of the trees symbolise strength and endurance.
The three figures represent the generations of Somerville House women. The grandmother is benevolently looking at the student’s work. The lower part of her face has a smile of satisfaction, while the upper part shows surprise at what her daughter has learnt. This represents increased learning from generation to generation, without which there is no progress. The student is looking confidently into the future.
The thick textbook symbolises the vast amount of knowledge students acquire. The book in which the student is writing has a few filled pages, while much of the book remains to be written. The student may not know it, but she is writing her Book of Life.
The native bush stone curlew is deliberately placed against European roses. This symbolises the blending of cultures that make us Australian. The curlew is carefully protecting her chicks. This area symbolises life’s cycle. The three young chicks are positioned amongst the dead fig leaves.
The inscription is quoted from Proverbs 31:28. “Her children rise up and call her blessed.”
The dedication implies the life-long support for Somerville House from former students.