The violet has held a special place in Toowoomba’s history for many years.
In January 1932 it was declared Toowoomba’s floral emblem at a meeting of Council as an acknowledgement of its role in the community.
Bunches of sweet violets were sold by mothers and families of World War I soldiers who did not return home, to build a large memorial. The bunches each held 50 blooms and three leaves, tied with cotton and were sold for three-pence to ladies at fundraising events and the races. It was fashionable to wear a posy of violets on their capes.
£1800 was raised and the Mother’s Memorial now stands at East Creek Park near Queen’s Park. The memorial has been the site of Toowoomba’s ANZAC Day commemorations since 1916 and is one of very few such memorials commissioned by women.
Violets also feature alongside local wattle on the Toowoomba Coat of Arms that was adopted in 1960.
Violet themed souvenirs including tea towels, pottery, soap and pins are available to purchase from the Toowoomba Visitor Information Centre.