Know your School - BCMA celebrates its 89th anniversary
Friday, 13 March 2015
This week, the Barker College Mothers’ Association (BCMA) celebrates its 89th anniversary, and as such, we take a look at the founding of this organisation.

In 1924, three Barker mothers, Mrs Mackenzie, Mrs Abbott and Mrs Fleming, decided to form a committee to raise money for a pavilion to be built adjacent to the recently opened War Memorial Oval.  By October, £150 had been raised.
At the beginning of Term 1, 1925 “a circular was issued to all mothers of past and present boys convening a meeting with a view to forming a committee for the purpose of arranging the details of a fete to augment the pavilion fund” (The College Barker, 1925, p. 33). The fete was held on April 18 and had a large variety of sideshows and entertainment. The fete was considered a success and raised over £500 towards the building of the pavilion. This allowed construction to commence immediately.

In early 1926, mothers of past and present Barker students were again inspired to organise another fete in the hope that the outstanding overdraft on the pavilion could be wiped. On March 6, Barker was abuzz with sideshows, dramatic performances, a tennis tournament and stalls selling all manner of delicious treats and produce. Again, over £500 was raised, resulting in the pavilion being free from debt. It was decided that the pavilion would be a Mothers’ Memorial to the Barker old boys who lost their lives during the Great War of 1914-1918.

“On Thursday, March 11, a few days after the fete, there was an enthusiastic meeting of mothers and friends at the School… [Headmaster] Mr Carter…conveyed to the meeting a cordial expression of his and the School’s heart felt gratitude to the many lady helpers, and his earnest wish that their efforts might be commemorated and completed by the immediate formation of the Mothers’ Association.

“To this the meeting then applied itself, and after discussion of the valuable suggestions made by Mr. Carter, the following resolutions were passed: -
                That a permanent Mothers’ Association in connection with Barker College be, and is now formed, to be known as the Barker College Mothers’ Association.
                That a President, and Honorary Treasurer, and an Honorary Secretary be elected.

“In pursuance of this motion, Mrs J. McKenzie was unanimously elected President of the Association; Mrs F. B. Fleming Hon. Treasurer, and Mrs Macartney Abbott Hon. Secretary. The election of these ladies as the first office-bearers is particularly appropriate to commemorate their pioneering of the movement…

“…The meeting ended with general gratification at the excellent results achieved, and the Mothers’ Association has come into being in a spirit of cheery optimism, which will carry it far in its unselfish work. The School greets it with heartfelt appreciation. Now then, Barker, hurrah for Mothers!” (The College Barker, 1926, pp. 23-26)

Almost 90 years on, the BCMA continues in its unselfish work of fostering friendships and fellowship amongst the Barker community and providing resources and amenities for every Barker student to enjoy.