Jamie’s Bar Mitzvah began with a lovely family Shabbat dinner on the Friday – he was delighted that his grandma was able to fly in from South Africa to be there. Jamie’s Uncle Dan and Aunty Nat joined the family from Melbourne, Margot and Dee came from Sydney and his great-aunty Wendy arrived with Jeff from Melbourne, too. Together with his mum, dad, gran (who made the cake), Grandpa (Zaizai) and all their cousins and uncles and aunties who live in Perth, this made for a fabulous family gathering to celebrate the simcha.

Jamie ate hot chips for his special dinner and the other guests enjoyed a meal of schnitzel and boerewors. Jamie’s gran in Perth made a brilliant chocolate cake with a mini Jamie on top.

It was a good thing that Jamie arrived early with his mum at Chabad Shule on the Saturday, as he overheated due to wearing so many clothes. A navy three-piece suit, tie with tie clip, very thick socks and long, tan shoes with pointy toes plus a very large tallit bought by his step grandmother sounded like an impressive outfit and necessitated sitting under the air conditioning and drinking water until he cooled off and the guests started arriving.

Jamie’s Grandpa is a singer in the Shule choir and they sang for a while before Jamie stood up and delivered his Parsha – Vayikra. Jamie had worked hard to learn it off by heart and felt nervous but did well. Afterwards, he carried the very heavy Torah around the Shule, together with a silver crown which was almost as heavy.

Speeches were given by the Rabbi as well as his mum and dad. Celebrations after the speeches involved a lot of lollies – more even than Jamie had expected – and many marshmallows.