Balfour Primary School’s Summer Fair, on July 16, was the setting for our first school stall and cake sale. Organised by the Mary’s Lamp group of Year 4 girls, it raised more than
£60 in aid of the Mary Clarke Statue Appeal, selling ‘Mary Cakes’, our version of traditional fairy cakes.
The Mary’s Lamp girls’ group was set up by River Isaac, our first Child Ambassador. She and the group recently delivered a power point presentation about Mary Clarke to a packed school assembly and were determined to launch our new Mary Cakes.
They spent hours baking their Mary Cakes and preparing a Guess-the-Number-of-Sweets competition to draw children and adults to the stall. They handed out leaflets to parents and explained to them why Mary is important. We were thrilled to see how interested other children were (boys as well as girls) and how many already knew about Mary.
Many younger children were fascinated by our life size ‘cut out’ of the proposed statue and asked to be photographed with it. Others loved the life-size model of Mary’s lamp, which was kept on the stall near the cakes, to remind us why we were there.
Jean Calder, Chair of the Appeal said:
“I was so impressed by the girls’ enthusiasm and commitment – and the support they received from their parents and the school. The girls were determined to sell all the cakes and succeeded. We are so grateful to them all. We are confident the Mary’s Lamp group will go from strength to strength.”
The title Mary’s Lamp’ I was inspired by the lamp which is
depicted at Mary’s feet in Denise Dutton’s design for the statue. Mary is shown at the end of her life having laid down the lamp for others to take up. This idea springs from the words of prominent local suffragette Isabella McKeown, who spoke at Mary’s memorial meeting on 6th January 1911, in the Royal Pavilion, telling the suffragettes not to “mourn in silence”, but to “take the torch from her and light the darkness”. These words will be written at the base of the statue, amongst other key quotes. We have found that young people, in particular, find Isabella’s words very inspiring. This was certainly true for River Isaac, who chose this title for the group.