Celebration cake memories

 

Happy birthday


The Wagner Society has celebrated Wagner's birthday (22 May) every year since 1981, first with a supper of typical German food and wines, then by many annual dinners with guest speakers which in 1995 became luncheons at the Women's Club, and more recently by champagne toasts following a recital at the Goethe Institut.

The tradition of having a birthday cake began in May 1982 at the Sebel Town House dinner when Jean-Louis Stuurop [75] made and presented an enormous birthday cake decorated with the ‘Ring motif’ in chocolate piping over a rich cream frosting. In 2013, Richard Wagner's 200th anniversary was celebrated by a dinner at the Royal Automobile Club, with Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO [798], Governor of NSW, with the assistance of Wagner Society President, the Hon Justice Jane Mathews [622], and Musica Viva CEO Mary Jo Capps [812], cutting Wagner’s birthday cake, an impressive double level cake pictured below, baked and decorated by Barbara Brady [380]. In recent years, this tradition was continued by Barbara de Rome [207].

Cakes have had starring roles in significant Society anniversaries too. The Society's 20th Anniversary cake in October 2000 was also made by Barbara Brady. More recently Barbara de Rome [207] has produced impressive cakes, especially in 2021 with a cake celebrating the Society's 40th anniversary at its March concert and an even more fabulous cake in May to celebrate the Society's anniversary and Wagner's birthday. These three cakes are all pictured below.

Similarly the Society has held regular Christmas parties, the first in 1983 being a picnic at Ball’s Head Park, followed by a cocktail party in 1985. And from around 1992 until the early 2000s, a highlight of the end-of-year parties was the sensational cakes made by Barbara Brady - usually one for the raffle and one for consumption at the party, although one year Barbara was asked to bake four cakes!

A selection of these birthday, anniversary and Christmas cakes for the Wagner Society appears below.

 

cake, year unknown
A cake made by Barbara Brady [380] for the Wagner Society's Christmas party, around 1993, was about 1 foot square, [photo, courtesy Leona Geeves [87]].

 

cake made by Barbara Brady
A cake made by Barbara Brady for a Society Christmas party, [photo, courtesy Barbara Brady].

 

cake made by Barbara Brady
A cake made by Barbara Brady for a Christmas party, [photo, courtesy Barbara Brady].

 

Betty Maloney cuts the Society's 20th Anniversary cake in 2000, made by Barbara Brady
Betty Maloney [1] cutting the Society's 20th Anniversary cake - made by Barbara Brady - on 15 October 2000.

 

cake made by Barbara Brady
A swan-decorated cake made by Barbara Brady for the Society's Christmas party in December 2001, [photo, courtesy Leona Geeves].

 

2013, cake made by Barbara Brady, the year she was asked to bake four cakes!
The cake made by Barbara Brady for the 200th anniversary of Wagner's birthday in 2013, [photo, courtesy Barbara Brady].

 

May 2018, cake made by Barbara de Rome
Wagner's birthday cake on 20 May 2018, made by Barbara de Rome [207], [photo, courtesy of Marie Leech [916]]

 

May 2019 cake
Wagner's birthday cake on 19 May 2019.

 

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Toasting Wagner on 19 May 2019 - from left, Hannelore Laundl [962], dramatic soprano Celeste Siciliano, President Colleen Chesterman [649] and Vice-President Mike Day [606].

 

In May 2020, owing to Covid-19 restrictions, Wagner's birthday had to be celebrated by zoom. Mike Day is pictured with his birthday cake.
In 2020, owing to Covid-19 restrictions, Wagner's birthday was celebrated on 22 April by zoom. Vice-President Mike Day [606] is pictured with his birthday cake for Richard Wagner.

 

Members toasting Wagner by zoom in May 2020.
Members toasting Wagner by zoom on 22 April 2020.

 

March 2021, cake made by Barbara de Rome
The Society's 40th anniversary cake at Mosman Art Gallery on 7 March 2021, made by Barbara de Rome [207]

 

May 2021, cake made by Barbara de Rome
The Wagner Society's 40th anniversary / Wagner's birthday cake on 23 May 2021 at St Columba Community Centre, made by Barbara de Rome [207] [photo, courtesy Pauline Holgerson [863]].

 

May 2021: Ceremonial cutting of the cake at the Society's 40th anniversary. L-R: Past Presidents Richard King and Colleen Chesterman, current President Esteban Insausti & past President Roger Cruickshank
Ceremonial cutting of the Society's 40th anniversary / Wagner's birthday cake, made by Barbara de Rome, on 23 May 2021. L-R: Past Presidents Richard King [17] and Colleen Chesterman [649], current President Esteban Insausti [433] & past President Roger Cruickshank [669], [photo, courtesy of Janet Nash [876]].