Fab Feb Photo Collage Festival: Day 21 Family Christenings

4 x 7UP collageIt will come as no surprise after my Day 5 Collage post, that our children were all christened.  Eldest daughter was baptised in my home parish in Brisbane shortly before we returned to Alotau a few weeks after her birth. My paternal grandmother was still alive, and I feel there should be a photo of the two of them together, even though she didn’t come to the church. If it exists, where is it, that is the question?!

Our children's christening frock.
Our children’s christening frock.

Her christening frock was one of the earliest creations on my new Bernina. The beautiful hand smocking was done by my mother and I have the notion that I did the crochet despite my lack of expertise. I should check to see if Mum can remember, perhaps she did it.. I checked with her today and she’s not sure either. I’m thinking now it’s more likely to have been her work. She also had a special crocheted coat, bonnet and bootees outfit that I think my parents bought her for the occasion. Our other daughters wore the christening robe also in their turn, one in Goroka and one in Brisbane.

Daughter 2's christening at home in West Goroka.
Daughter 2’s christening at home in West Goroka.

I just had to include this photo of Daughter #2’s christening, mainly for the joy of knowing how much this photo stirs them up! So much paisley in evidence: his shirt, his tie, and my dress. I’m surprised that I hadn’t also made Miss 2 a paisley outfit for good measure <smile>. This christening was in our home rather than the local parish church, from memory because we wanted a priest, who was a good friend, to do the ceremony. It was also very ecumenical as many of the attendees were non-Catholics.

My christening dress. What was my thing with handbags, at this age!
My christening dress. What was my thing with handbags, at this age!

Among my baby book photo is this one of me wearing my own christening dress. It certainly wasn’t taken when I was christened so it must have been a good deal larger than necessary when I first wore it. I also have this frock in my possession even though it’s quite fragile being made of a type of chiffon.  Mum tells me my Aunty Mary (whom you met last week) made this dress for me, with specially covered seams to meet my grandmother’s critical professional dressmaking standards.

As far as I know we have no photos of Mr Cassmob’s christening or any of the earlier generations.

I would regard both these christening frocks, and the bonnets, as family heirlooms which I hope will be treasured whether or not they’re ever worn again.

A trio of hand-crafted baby bonnets.
A trio of hand-crafted baby bonnets.

Fab Feb imageFamily Hx writing challengeThis post is part of the February Photo Collage Festival and the Family History Writing Challenge.

8 thoughts on “Fab Feb Photo Collage Festival: Day 21 Family Christenings

    1. Thanks Julie, no there’s a general disenchantment with churches in our families these days, so it will just have to be preserved for posterity. I spoke to Mum about this today and it turns out my Aunt Mary (who I mentioned last week) made my christening robe, including trimming/covering all the seams. Mum can’t remember which of us did the crochet but the more I think about it, the likeliest is that it was her work.


      1. What a shame that other generations have not worn it, but it is lovely to still have and treasure. Of course if no one is going to be using it perhaps write up the details and place with the robe.

        I still have the christening blanket that was purchased by my Great Grandmother. Lovely white and a really gentle soft feel to it. Not having any children I plan to give to my cousin’s daughter in the future. As the daughter is only 11 I shall keep it for a bit! That way the future will have a lovely link to the past.


      2. After listening to one of the Genie Down Under podcasts I’m thinking I’ll put together a bound word doc listing the family heirlooms and their memories, including this one. But putting the story with the robe is a great idea. I’ve even thought of having it framed but the thought reminds me too much of “the Memory Keeper’s Daughter”.

        What a lovely idea about the christening blanket but I agree that waiting a while to give it to her would be wise. (I saw my old doll stuffed in granddaughter’s cupboard the other day -lucky I’ve not had it for years and so not attached to it).


  1. A lovely collection of memories and photographs. I think it is wonderful how christening robes and bonnets are passed down the generations, but unfortunately it did not happen in my family – nor do I have any christening photographs, though I do have the church magazines announcing the baptisms. .


    1. I guess it “proves” the randomness of survival -documents, clothes, etc…. I don’t have any announcements for example. But I think I prefer the robes 😉


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