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Like mother, like daughter . . . Joyce Gemmell (right) enjoys high tea with daughter Julie Gemmell at Oamaru's Observatory Village last Friday. PHOTO: RUBY HEYWARD

You did not have to be a mum to be celebrated at Oamaru’s Observatory Village on Mother’s Day.

Last Friday, Observatory Village held a high tea for Mother’s Day to get the residents all together and celebrate what motherhood meant to them.

Manager Moira Kliegl said it was a chance to re-examine the perception of motherhood by including all motherly figures.

From aunts and women who wanted to be mothers but could not, to daughters, mothers-to-be, step-mums, foster mums, and fur mums, the day was “all inclusive”.

Activities manager Carole Wood said some residents had children but others never married or just did not want to have children – there was no one way to be a mother or celebrate the day, she said.

Resident Joyce Gemmell was happy to have her daughter Julie Gemmell visiting from Waikouaiti.

Joyce (98) had three daughters, one son, a bundle of grandchildren and “masses” of great-grandchildren.

“It’s a big responsibility,” she said.

“[But] I loved the fun and good times we had.”

When Julie had children of her own, she tried to embody some of her mother’s qualities.

“Anything can come your way as a mother. She was a accepting of all the challenges thrown at her,” she said.

“I loved becoming a mother and it was a rewarding challenge.”

Joyce offered some sage advice to new mothers.

“Just be happy. Don’t have any favourites, just love them all.”