Each year on December 7, Gay Weir would lovingly make and decorate four birthday cakes without fail.
With three of her precious quadruplets now no longer so close to home, her baking skills are a little less in demand. But geographical separation aside, their love for her this and every Mother’s Day is strong.
In 1973, then 31-year-old Gay and dairy farmer husband Malcolm became parents to the ‘fab four’: Fiona, Suzy, Tim and Naomi.
A month premature, they were the first quadruplets born at Wollongong Hospital in 150 years, and Gay was dubbed by local media the unofficial mum of the year.
While Suzy and her family are an easy drive away, jazz trumpeter Tim resides in Melbourne and Naomi lives in Hong Kong after stints in Germany, Singapore and Sri Lanka.
“We’ll Facetime them and then prepare something delicious here for Sunday lunch and make the day about mum,” Fiona told AAP of their Mothers Day plans.
‘Here’ is the idyllic seaside Buena Vista Farm at Gerringong on the NSW south coast, a property that’s been in the Weir family since 1859.
It’s run by Fiona and husband Adam as a sustainable primary production operation complete with laying hens, honey bees, meat chickens, beef cattle and free-range pigs, geese and ducks.
They also operate a market garden and commercial kitchen, and sell their produce at the local farmer’s market.
Sunday lunch will likely consist of farm-to-plate roasted chicken with goat’s cheese and a “really lovely” beetroot and walnut salad.
“Mum will really love that,” Fiona said.
“Mother’s Day has its own kind of special echo in which I’m thinking about my beloved mum and she’s thinking about hers.
“I know it’s a day that is tricky for people and that not all relationships can be celebrated but I’m grateful to celebrate this day with my mum and listen to that echo, particularly here on this old family farm with a long history of beloved mums.”
Fiona says her mum has always made a big deal about her and her siblings’ birthday.
“She made the four birthday cakes and still does if we’re all here. She and dad also get on the phone early to catch everyone depending on where they are in the world and which time zone they’re in.
“So Mother’s Day I guess has become a way of celebrating a pretty remarkable lady.
“I’m conscious that the others do feel that separation from her on the day but I’m just lucky I can be here with her.”