January 2013 Newsletter - Sonja Bates (Ostlund), YHS 1943

Sonja Bates (Ostlund), YHS 1943, an original member, life member and committee member of Yallourn Old Girls’ Association.
Sonja grew up in Yallourn, attending Yallourn Primary and then High School, and later became a librarian working at Yallourn Library.
She was a very active sports woman, playing netball, was an umpire, tennis, table tennis, golf, then moved to Morwell where their family grew up. Sonja & George enjoyed social activities, also travelling which took them to many parts of the world.
Sonja belonged to a number of clubs, Probus, Yallourn Old Girls’ Assoc, Raiweena, Jazz, Orana, Sporting clubs. She was a good church member and will be greatly missed for her very bright cheerfulness, especially during her fight with illness.”
Mavis McAllister (Webb) YHS 1940 continued…”There are many members of YOGA who would have been involved with Sonja much closer than myself. With me, it was through Youth Club Basketball, which was played on the ovals behind the Yallourn Tennis Club courts, and being so near, we were soon involved with the Tennis Club, where Sonja was one of the top players. Then there was St John’s Church of England, the centre for spiritual as well as social activities - both our families were involved there.
Thanks to the formation of YOGA in 1976, our friendship was rekindled. During these years, Sonja’s contribution as an active committee member, her knowledge of early days of Yallourn and the history of Yallourn through the SEC proved invaluable. When Sonja moved to Newborough, just down the street from me, we shared another part of friendship. Church at St Aidan’s, lawn bowling, social outings, drop-in cuppas, YOGA meetings and get-togethers, Yallourn memories around the kitchen table, Orana Club, Newborough Probus Club etc.
During her illness, I was able to provide the hand of friendship to a very special lady and friend (as she had done to so many others). Thank you Sonja and may you rest in peace.

(Photo attached)