Written by Leah, with love from all Helen and Lyle’s children, Leah, Ben, Daniel, Jamie, Paul and Jess.
In this 30th year of Lyle and Helen’s station travel, as Mother’s Day approaches, for a change (instead of Helen doing the writing!), I would like to share a little reflection, in appreciation of Helen (Mum and Grandma).
Helen, on one of Lyle and Helen’s Cattle Station Trips
If you have met and known Helen Kent, through her visits to cattle stations these past 30 years, or through other avenues, you will very likely know that she has a genuine interest and love for people, and that she especially enjoys connecting with babies and children 🙂 . This love is evident to me personally, and also from a business perspective, through Lyle and Helen’s belief, “We believe it is as much about people as about product…” ( Read more About Us ). Helen’s love of people is also visible through the connections Helen has formed in 30 years of station visits.
Helen is Mum to six children. Leah, Ben, Daniel, James and Paul were all born in Stanthorpe, SE Qld. Jessica, however, was born in Derby, WA on Lyle and Helen’s first cattle station trip! Helen’s connection to us as young children, and the engaging kindy-like environment she, with Lyle’s help, created for us, and which is now created by them for their grandchildren, is treasured by me. Helen is very involved in the lives of her grandchildren, and often cares for the kids while we mums of the the grandkids work for Kent Saddlery.
Lyle and Helen, on the occasion of their 70th birthdays, with their 14 grandchildren, 2019.
Photo by Red Boots Photographic.
Lyle and Helen with their six children
L-R: Jamie, Ben, Jess, Lyle, Helen, Daniel, Paul, Leah – in 2019.
Photo by Red Boots Photographic.
A kindergarten teacher at various times in her life, in the late 1980’s Helen went back to teaching for a period, so that Lyle could move away from vegetable farming. Lyle took time to learn the craft of saddle making and they went on to make the change to running a saddlery business together. Helen has been an integral part of the business partnership from the beginning, supporting Lyle as he took the risk to start out in the new venture, travelling off into the unknown, and being side by side with Lyle on the journey ever since.
Photo taken on Lyle and Helen’s first Outback trip in 1991, Camballin, WA
In relation to station trips, I know that Helen looks forward to meeting new people, and catching up with old friends, many being mums too. She loves meeting new babies, and seeing children growing up from year to year, each time she visits a station. She has told me on a number of occasions how much she admires mums who live remotely, with the challenges that can bring.
AMAZING OUTBACK MUMS!
Lyle and Helen’s station trips have meant that Helen has been away for Mother’s Day for most of the last 30 Mother’s Days. This means that instead of her children and grandchildren being responsible for visiting or getting in touch with her, the tradition has become that Helen calls us on Mother’s Day… so we might be able to turn that around from next year perhaps, this being the final station trip!
I feel that it must be an emotional time for Lyle and Helen this last trip, as they farewell so many, at each station they visit, however I know that Helen’s grandkids especially are going to appreciate having Grandma around a bit more next year and I look forward to that too. I expect that Helen will enjoy experiencing the crisp and colourful Stanthorpe Autumns again, and watching Mother’s Day chrysanthemums bloom.
Autumn 2021, Stanthorpe, Qld
Helen with grandson, Joel Kent, 2019. Photo by Red Boots Photographic.