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Heidelberg’s Busy Bee Signature Quilt, 1895-96

Square K13

Quilt square K13

Transcription

Mrs G. R. Cumming / WilliAmstowN / NIL ARDUM

Summary

This square represents Annie (nee Smith) who was born in Templestowe in 1865. In 1891 she married George Robertson Cumming and moved to Williamstown.

Further information

Annie’s husband George has the square at [K9]. Her sister Christine was one of the Busy Bees and is named in the [Central] square.

Annie must have attended the Scots Church prior to her marriage and the move to Williamstown. In 1895, she no doubt felt strongly about the need to support the Heidelberg congregation. We suggest that Annie may have used her square to urge her family and their community to be resilient. The Latin motto on her square, ‘Nil ardu(u)um’, means ‘Nothing is difficult’ and complements the illustration of a phoenix arising from the ashes, presumably as she hoped the Scots Church would arise from its troubles.

It is likely that Annie encouraged her new community to contribute many of the squares that represent Williamstown.

When the quilt was made, George and Annie had three small boys, each of whom has a square on the quilt:


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