This is a story that has been waiting to be written. It is the story of one of Yallourn and Gippsland’s best-ever swimmers ~ Lois Gust. It is hoped that the story will not only shed some light on the wonderful contribution that Lois and her family made to Yallourn but perhaps the story may also give further insight into the people and times of the Yallourn swimming, athletic and hockey clubs.
VIC & FLORIS GUST
Vic and Floris (Mc Credden) Gust lived in the Wimmera before the War. Vic was Postal Clerk and was a qualified GPO telegrapher at Goroke. They had three children … Barry (1937 at Natimuk), Betty (1939) was born at the Edenhope Hospital, and Lois was born in 1941 at Goroke.
Vic headed south in January 1942 and arrived at Yallourn and commenced duties at the Post Office. Floris and the three children arrived in April and took up residence at number 10 Strezlecki Road. While life in Yallourn during World War: II was austere, sometimes tense, there was also a strong sense of unity and community spirit.
Air raid shelters, anti-aircraft batteries and restricted street lighting were grim reminders of the realities of war. One only has to study the photographs of Yallourn in those war years to appreciate how seriously the threat of attack was taken by the government and the local residents …
“Each household was given enough timber to construct a five feet by seven feet underground air-raid a shelter…” (‘Yallourn Was’, p. 122)
Vic Gust was one of many workers in Yallourn who fully appreciated their war time responsibilities and he carried them out with due diligence. Lois explained Vic’s important role in communications during the war years…
“During the war, Dad was kept in Yallourn because of his Morse Code skills. He worked very long hours at a difficult time for Australia and particularly Yallourn SEC workers who were living in a potentially vulnerable target area….”
Vic and Floris were strict but not unfair parents and they always encouraged Barry, Betty and Lois to enjoy the outdoors and physical activities. The Gusts were similar to many other families of Yallourn in that they were committed and involved in a variety of community organisations and activities.
“Mum and Dad were great parents…very supportive of their children in a wide range of sports, Brownies, Guides, activities at the Presbyterian Church, school and eventually work. We were loved and lucky!”
A story, written by Lois, regarding Vic’s work and involvement in various organizations can be found in the ‘Twentieth Anniversary of Yallourn Old Girls Association’ The book, which was published in 1996, can be obtained by contacting Julie George at the ‘Virtual Yallourn’ website.
The end of the World War:II brought peace, hope and optimism. Yallourn was the industrial hub of the Latrobe Valley and as the power industry expanded its operations, the town profited economically and socially. Yallourn was a vibrant and pleasant place for young and old alike. Local historian Meredith Fletcher wrote…
“Important facilities that had been missing from Yallourn in the interwar years were developed in the 1950s.”
The new kindergarten in Uplands Road did not open until 1948; consequently Lois attended the kindergarten that were held in the RSL building on a regular basis. In 1947, Lois commenced her primary education at S.S. 4085. Her teachers were Miss Grace, Miss Kiley and Miss Williams. Because of the lack of facilities in the Banksia Crescent school buildings, some primary grades were located at the Guide Hall and also in the ‘tin huts’ at YHS. The overcrowding at the Yallourn Primary School was indicative of the changing nature of the region following the war. Thousands of people from war-torn Europe settled in the Latrobe Valley in this period and the population of the town swelled to about 5500 in 1949.
“Yallourn was a great place for children in the 1950’s and 1960’s- there were so many of them and so much for them to do. They were part of Australia’s post-war baby boom.” (‘Yallourn Was’...page 140).
Lois agrees that there were plenty of activities in which young people could engage and, of course, there were so many children to play with at school or around the neighbourhood. She remembers her dear friends from those early days such as Helen Morrison, Robyn Angus, Kevin Gould, Margaret Wiseman, Helen Jenkins, Judith Wallace and Anne Alford. Lois could write a book about her school days in Yallourn…
“For me it was wonderful. Coming from the Wimmera and starting school and living in the Yallourn environment was exceptional. We had everything we needed and ever wanted. While growing up I loved childhood games, singing in the choir, riding my Heather White’s bike and playing sports but making friends at kindergarten and school was the best part …what a start in life I had.”
YALLOURN HIGH SCHOOL
One of the little but important things that Lois remembers about going to High School was that she rarely took a cut lunch to school as other students did in those days…
“We lived just across the road from the High School so it was just a skip and a hop across from our home ...We lived near Mr Wally Cass who taught at the High School and our other neighbours were the James’ family, the Prices and the Buller family .”
From the very first day that she put on her blue school tunic, not once did Lois tire of going to YHS. She loved school with a passion and she appreciated everything that it gave her in life…
“I will never forget going across the road as a student and joining Barry and Betty. I felt so grown up. It was so exciting meeting new children, making new friends, learning new ideas and playing sport. Each family member belonged to the same School House. I was in Mawson House (blue) with Barry and Betty. Each House vied for points in a wide range of activities such as egg & clothing appeals, academic excellence, care of school property, punctuality, dress code and sporting contests.”
Lois clearly appreciated the point of such competitions. There was no confusion about what was ‘at stake’ and she was dedicated to seeing Mawson win the Annual House Competition. Lois took her duties in Mawson House activities earnestly and never had to be asked twice to give Judy Wallace and Margot Harry, the House Captains, assistance as required.
Lois enjoyed academic pursuits, particularly Mathematics and Geography, but it was on the sports fields and in the swimming pool where she really excelled. The YHS offered a wide range of sports and Lois took up every opportunity to play vigaro, hockey, rounders and, of course, swimming for Mawson House and YHS.
Excursions were special days in the live of all students in that era and to travel on a bus or a train to the city was quite a thrilling event…
“I have never forgotten going to the Olympic Games in Melbourne. That school trip in 1956 had a lasting effect on my decisions in the future.”
Lois was also elected a YHS Prefect …it was somewhat of a dream come true. It meant such a lot to her and she was very proud when she announced the news to Vic and Floris that evening at the dinner table.
Lois left Yallourn High School at the end of fifth form to start her career as a librarian. She said goodbye to her friends and teachers with mixed feelings….
“I loved school and what I learned from my teachers. I think my teachers were the best as they so friendly and helpful. They gave me such a positive start in life and I have always appreciated the support I received at the High School.”
THE YALLOURN SWIMMING CLUB
The development of the Yallourn Swimming Club (YSC) is testimony to the spirit of community and the hard work of so many volunteers who not only enjoyed swimming but appreciated its importance for the children of the town.
The YSC grew from humble beginnings. History shows the first pool in Yallourn was no more than a ‘safe swimming hole’ on the banks of the Latrobe River. Sometime in the early 1930’s members of the working Men’s Club and other volunteers improved the facilities and a changing shed was constructed. The Yallourn Swimming Club’s first ever carnival was held in January 1933 and ‘The Morwell Advertiser’ carried the story…
“Yallourn Swimming Club Carnival … Those who travelled to the Latrobe River Swimming Pool, at Yallourn, last Saturday afternoon, to see the above Club's first Annual Swimming Carnival, were well rewarded from an aquatic stand point as well as the picturesque natural setting of the pool, the southern foliage covered slopes of which provided an excellent view point of the competitors. The attendance was about 700 ….” ‘The Advertiser’ (12th Jan 1933).
The first ‘town pool’ near Lake Avenue was opened in December 1936. . .
“The Commission constructed a dam across the Melbourne Swamp thus providing reclaimed land for recreational swimming. This dam was converted into an up-to-date swimming pool…”
The swimming pool became a popular place for people of all ages during the summer months. The photograph that accompanies this story is fairly typical of the scenes at the swimming pool in that era. Hundreds of youngsters gained their first swimming certificate as part of ‘The Herald Learn to Swim Campaign’ in the pool. Many did their first ‘honey pot’ or ‘belly-whacker’ off the wooden three metre diving tower.
In the summer months Lois Gust, who actually learnt to swim in the city, made the swimming club her ‘second home’ as she trained every day improving her strokes, building endurance and learning all that she could from her coaches.
As a youngster Lois was drawn to water and it seemed to be the most natural thing for her to dive into water. Even as an infant she had no fear of water and it appears that Lois was a ‘water baby’ and born to swim. Lois admired Dawn Fraser and perhaps Dawn best explains why Lois was always at peace when swimming….
“It's a beautiful thing, diving into the cool crisp water and then just sort of being able to pull your body through the water and the water opening up for you.” Dawn Fraser. ‘ABC Radio National.’ June 2001.
Lois believes that her coaches at YSC played an important role in her rapid advancement in freestyle, butterfly and backstroke…
“I was actually taught to swim at the Middle Brighton Baths and then coached and mentored at the Yallourn pool by my brother Barry, Arthur Brogan, Ron Boyd and Hugh Graham. Sometimes I would swim a mile a day in training.”
Lois competed in her first swimming race at the age of thirteen years at the Traralgon Carnival in 1954 and for the next seven years dedicated herself to representing YSC and realising her true potential in the pool.
Lois has never forgotten the occasion when her parents presented her with blue ‘Speedo’ bathers just like her Olympic heroes wore in international swimming. Her favourite Australian swimmers in those days were Dawn Fraser, Lorraine Crapp, Jon Henricks, Murray Rose, John Devitt, and the ‘Konrads Kids.’
Lois and members of the YSC travelled far and wide to compete in swimming carnivals. She still shudders when recalling the days that she swam at the Mirboo North Pool and virtually froze when she dived into the water. Her teeth were ‘chattering’ when she touched the wall at the other end.
Gippsland towns that held swimming meetings included Morwell, Traralgon, Warragul and Sale. Lois also competed at the Dandenong City Pool. As Lois began to ‘better’ her times, she was encouraged to enter the Victorian Country Championships which were held at Mildura, Bendigo and Shepparton.
Travelling to distant meetings for a young swimmer without a driving licence in those days was difficult. Lois was appreciative of the assistance that Arthur Brogan offered so often and readily. All the miles on the road in Arthur’s car and all the miles in lane-training paid dividends for Lois. Slowly but surely she began to win races, improve her ‘personal best’ times in competition and gain confidence in her own ability.
In 1957 Lois was one of the twenty young Victorians chosen to attend a week-long residential training camp at the Melbourne Pool (in Batman Avenue). Australia’s highly respected swimming coach Bill Atkinson tutored Lois in the important aspects of ‘speed swimming.’
‘The Argus’ of the 10th January 1957 reported on the training camp (with a large photograph) under the headline…. “They’ll make a bit of a splash in the city”…
“Out to make a big name in the big city are these young country mermaids sunning at St. Kilda yesterday. They are training for the State titles to be held in the new Olympic Pool on January 16, 18 and 23. In a squad of 20 boys and girls now being coached by Bill Atkinson, of South Pacific, for the titles, eleven are from the country. They are being given a concentrated week of tuition. Country girls, left to right, are: Barbara Fulton, 18, from East Bendigo; Sandra Lund, I8, Bendigo; Margaret Ripper, 16, East Bendigo … Lois Gust, I5,and Dorothy Doyle 16 …”
Lois believes that Bill Atkinson improved her stroke development, kick, breathing techniques and raised her confidence to new levels. Bill’s lessons had a telling effect and her winning results in titles and championships are simply stunning as shown:-
1. Junior Gippsland & Senior Women’s Freestyle Championship (1956 at the age of 15.)
2. 100 m and 200m Freestyle Championship (1959).
3. 50 m Butterfly Championship (1960).
4. Senior Women’s 100m Backstroke Championship.
5. 4 x 50m Individual Relay.
6. 4x100m Senior Women’s Freestyle Championship.
7. 4x100m Team Medley Championship.
8. 4x50m Individual Medley title.
9. 100m and 200m Freestyle Championships.
10. Senior Women’s Relay Championship.
Lois also swam in the 100m Freestyle at the Victorian Country Championships and on one occasion (1961) she finished a commendable 3rd in an exceptionally strong field. Like other members of the YSC, Lois gained her Life Saving Certificate, Bronze Medallion and Bronze Cross during these years.
The Yallourn Swimming club gained wide acclaim throughout Victoria and became a model in organization and administration. The success of the YSC was built around sound coaching and instruction, regular and disciplined training and the whole hearted involvement of the club’s office bearers and members. Lois has many fond memories of her team mates in the YSC including Lorraine Dupree, Mary Hutchinson, Sandra Doxford, Jenny James, Robyn Garden, Heather Stewart, Francis Webster, Jim Richardson, Neville Gapes, Geoff Hall, Bill Davey, Barry Gust and Arthur Brogan. Inter-club swimming meetings were serious business and each club was focused and keen to do well in individual and team events but there was also time to make acquaintance with swimmers from other country towns. Lois became a strong friend of Marie Cummings one of her fiercest rivals from Warragul SC.
THE OPENING OF THE NEW YALLOURN POOL
Documentation indicates that the progress and growth of the Yallourn Swimming Club at the ‘old pool’ was dramatic and the case for a new pool was compelling. After lengthy discussions between YSC members, community groups, the Yallourn Town Advisory Council and the Commission, it was finally decided that a modern pool would be constructed near the site of the ‘old town pool.’ Lois can still remember the buzz of excitement that the talk of an Olympic size pool created around the neighbourhood, school and township.
Lois can also remember the day when a six year old boy was drowned in the ‘old pool.’ It appears that the tragedy hastened the deliberations about the need for a modern swimming pool for the town…
“It became a matter of urgency after that sad incident.”
Plans for an Olympic Pool were frequently mentioned in the local newspapers of the 1950’s and the YSC club members organized and campaigned tirelessly to bring the new pool to fruition.
The fact that the people of Yallourn were able to raise £5000 (pounds) again underlines the generosity of the residents. It also gives some idea as to the strength of resolve of the townsfolk to build a facility for future generations to enjoy. The opening of the new Yallourn Pool was an exciting event in the town’s history. It was opened on the 7th November 1959. As the photograph posted with this story shows, hundreds of people attended the ‘gala’ event. It was a day of great civic pride and satisfaction for those residents who had given so much time and effort to bringing the pool into being.
As Lois stated….
“So we had an appeal to raise money for a new pool. It took a while to obtain but the SEC contributed money. At the opening of the Olympic Pool I was asked to swim one hundred metres of the pool.”
Kevin Brogan (Arthur’s son), who was in the crowd that day, was to later to describe that momentous day ….
“…it was a magnificent day for Yallourn. Lois Gust was Miss Olympics and was selected to go to Rome for the 1960 games - the money that supported her selection was raised in the Town. Lois was part of the official opening ceremony.
Lois was a member of the Yallourn Swimming Club and was one of the Club's top swimmers - back in the 'mud hole' days. It was really good to have a pool back in Yallourn as the mud hole had been 'dug up' and the construction of the 'Olympic Pool' had taken a couple of years - so we had to travel to Morwell to have a swim. The opening of the new pool attracted a lot of 'new talent’ to the Swimming Club as it was not long after the 1956 games in Melbourne and just prior to the Rome games in 1960. The Yallourn Swimming Club became the top club in Gippsland and remained so throughout the 60's.” Virtual Yallourn website
So it was that Lois was the first person to ‘officially’ swim in the Yallourn pool. However, as Lois explained …
“It was known that a few local boys had jumped the fence the night before and ‘tested’ the water….it was given their seal of approval.”
Not only was the new pool the centre for fun and games on the hottest of summer days but it also provided Yallourn SC with exceptional facilities for training and inter-club carnivals. The impetus provided by the modern pool lifted YSC to become one of the most successful swimming clubs in Victoria. In her book ‘Yallourn Was’, Prue McGoldrick wrote…
“For seven years after the opening of the new pool the Yallourn swimming Club dominated swimming competitions and became one of the State’s top clubs. Long-serving members were Hugh Graham who put in 46 years instructing, and Arthur Brogan who contributed over a period of 32 years, 21 of which were spent as secretary.’
MISS AUSTRALIAN OLYMPICS
One of the greatest thrills for Lois occurred in 1959 when she was named as ‘Miss Australian Olympics’ The quest, in which Lois was an entrant, was to raise money to assist in sending Australian athletes to the 1960 Rome Olympic Games. The winner was based upon a ‘quota system’ that ensured each of the 230 Australian municipalities that entered the contest had a fair chance to win. The Yallourn committee raised more than three times its quota of £544. It was a win of which the people of Yallourn were very proud.
Lois made the news in the metropolitan dailies and many country newspapers. ‘The Sun’ newspaper carried a large front -page photo of Lois resplendent in her winning sash, white gloves and silver crown…
“Miss Australian Olympics… An 18-year-old assistant librarian from Yallourn, brunette Lois Gust (pictured left) has been chosen as Miss Australian Olympics.”
Lois and her mother flew, as guests of the Australian Olympic Federation, to Rome...
“Yallourn people raised the most money from all the other towns in Australia. …Mum and I flew to Rome with the Australian Olympic team. We were seated very near to Prince Rainier of Monaco and Grace Kelly. It was the thrill of a lifetime to witness the opening and closing ceremonies and events such as hockey, swimming, athletics and gymnastics…It was wonderful and I have never forgotten the generosity of the people of Yallourn for supporting me in the quest. It changed my life in many ways.”
During their time in Rome, Lois and Floris also met up with a young man from Yallourn named Jim Marshall. Jim escorted them on a tour of Naples, Capri, and the ruins of Pompeii. Little did Floris and Lois know that their ‘tour-guide’ Jim Marshall would one day marry Betty.
On her return home from Rome, Lois was given a Civic Reception by the Town Advisory Council and she was also the ‘guest speaker’ at various local meetings to show slides and talk about her experiences in Rome…
“I was so grateful to all the residents which supported the money raising efforts for the Olympic team. Australia won numerous medals at the Rome Olympics and it was amazing to think that our town had played a part in their success. As Miss Australian Olympics, I felt very honoured at nineteen years of age to be Yallourn’s representative. I am still extremely thankful for the manner in which the people of Yallourn helped me that year. Thank you.”
HOCKEY & YALLOURN BLUES
As mentioned earlier, Lois was introduced to the game of hockey in her years at Yallourn High School and it became her second sporting love. When the ‘sun went down on the swimming pool’ out came the hockey sticks and shin guards. Lois excelled at hockey and she gained selection for inter-school matches against Morwell, Traralgon and Warragul. The YHS hockey team was coached by the art-teacher John Nicholls and he dedicated hours and hours, after the school bell had rung, in coaching and organizing the team.
Such was the enthusiasm of the girls to play hockey that the team affiliated with the Latrobe Valley Hockey Association. The girls from Morwell also made a similar decision and formed a Morwell hockey team. Lois remembers that ….
“In 1957 the team took a big step and joined the LVHA and we took the name of Yallourn Blues. We played on Saturday afternoons and our home ground was the No: 4 Oval. Mr Nicholls was our first coach and my sister Betty was our inaugural captain of the team.”
The team members included Judy Wallace, Janice McHenry, Carol Stitson, Marie Williamson, Margaret and Erin McInnes, Lesley Smith, Lesley Sewell, Sheila Martin, Margaret Harrison, Elizabeth McLaren, and the team’s youngest player Veronica Lacy. The competition flourished and the standard of competition left nothing to be desired. The Yallourn Blues played against the Sale WRAAF, Traralgon H.S., Traralgon Townies, Traralgon Rovers and Morwell APM.
In 1959 Mr Nicholls was unable to coach the team and Ted Polkinghorne took over the role. The team tasted remarkable success and won a number of LVHA pennants in that era. Lois and Janice McHenry were selected to play in the LVHA Country Week Titles team that were played at Royal Park.
Although hockey hardly rated a mentioned in the mainstream press in those days, it was game that was quietly gaining popularity, building numbers and forging an identity in its own right. Today hockey is one of Australia’s most successful sports on the international stage.
The ‘Virtual Yallourn’ website has a good collection of photographs of the town’s hockey teams. There is photograph of the 1948 team (probably YHS) and other photos of the teams throughout the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s. Lois and Betty Gust are pictured in the team photos of 1954 and 56. The website also has some memorabilia which assists in gaining an appreciation of the significant role that hockey played in the life of the township.
Vic, Barry, Betty and Lois also were members of the Yallourn Amateur Athletic Club (formed in 1951). One of the biggest days in the town’s sporting history was in 1956 when the club hosted a major athletic carnival, sometimes known as the ‘Mini Olympics,’ at the Yallourn Oval. International athletes, who were in Melbourne for the Olympic Games, travelled to Yallourn that weekend and participated in the special program of track and field events. As President of the YAAC, Vic Gust played a key role in the organization of the events and Lois was very proud of her father and her family and, of course, the town that day.
Never one to waste a minute in life, Lois even found time to play badminton in the evenings. Believe it or not, Lois played virago for the YHS and a photo of the 1956 team can also be found on the ‘Virtual Yallourn’ website.
GOODBYE TO YALLOURN
Lois left Yallourn in 1961 and took up employment as a librarian at The Camberwell City Library. She worked for some time on the mobile library and then later as the librarian -in-charge of the work room at the Caulfield-Malvern City Library Headquarters.
In those days, libraries were the hub of community life and Lois mixed with hundreds of people who loved books, valued the printed word and liked to find a ‘quiet corner to read’ in the humdrum of suburban living. Lois met some fascinating ‘borrowers’ in her daily duties in the library. Being a librarian was a career that not only gave Lois an income but it offered friendships and interaction with some amazing people.
In 1965 Lois married Jan Cover and three years later their first child, Simon, was born at the Jessie McPherson Hospital. Their other children, Helen (1970) and Andrew (1971 ), were also born in Melbourne. Jan’s employment in local government enabled the family to move to Mornington in 1972.
Lois led a busy and active life. She taught yoga for sixteen years and even found time to return to the hockey field as the goalkeeper for the Mornington HC. Lois loved her ‘comeback’ to the hockey field. Not only did it keep her fit and active in sport but Helen also played for the same team. Lois thought that her days playing in the hockey team with her daughter were some of the most special moments in her life. Note: Helen represented Victoria in Secondary School hockey competitions.
Cycling was the next sport on her list of ‘must do’ things. Bike riding captured her imagination and in next to no time Lois was pedalling, often with family members, along the highways and byways of Australia.
Lois has participated in the Great Victorian Bike Ride on four occasions and has ridden along the Tasmanian coast, throughout the South Island of New Zealand and other places that would test the strongest souls. Lois thinks her ride across the Nullarbor Plain in 1996 was her most exacting challenge.
Due to pressing family matters, Lois left Mornington for some time and lived in Blackburn. However …..
“I am now back living in Mornington. I have given up hockey you might say and have found passive activities like Tai Chi, walking, knitting, reading swimming and socializing and I still have a bike in the garage but it’s more ‘ornamental than functional .’ Perhaps I should get a paper round!”
Lois is still involved in the affairs of the church and is an active member of the St Marks Uniting Church Council….
“I am never lonely and never bored. While I have wonderful friends it is my five grandchildren ranging from four to sixteen that bring the greatest joy and pleasure.”
Lois appreciates the Annual YOGA Reunions and rarely misses the opportunity to return to the Latrobe Valley and meet up with her friends and ‘former neighbours.’
YOGA was formed in 1976 and it has maintained its aim to ‘preserve the memories of a beautiful town for all to enjoy.’ YOGA has been instrumental in maintaining the link between ‘the past and the present’ and Lois believes that…
“YOGA has been a significant way of keeping contact with so many of her friends from kindergarten, school, church, sport and beyond. Although the Yallourn Township has gone, my memories and those of others will be forever with us. We were fortunate in so many ways to have lived in Yallourn.”
It would be remiss to not add a little about Betty Gust and her achievements at Yallourn High School as a member of the Yallourn Blues hockey team and the Yallourn Tennis Club.
Betty was born at the Edenhope Hospital in 1939. She was nearly three years of age when the family moved to Yallourn. Much of her life story is intertwined with the above experiences with Lois and Barry.
Betty was a bright, cheerful and outward going girl. She achieved excellent results at YHS which allowed her to win a nursing bursary in 1961. As a teenager, she was involved in sports and, like Lois, loved outdoor activities particularly athletics, tennis and hockey. Betty was the captain of the Yallourn Blues hockey team before leaving to commence her nursing career at Prince Henry’s Hospital in Melbourne. Lois remembers she shared a flat with Betty in Alexandra Avenue in South Yarra in 1961. The differences between life in Strzelecki Road and Alexandra Avenue were ‘noticeable’ (for want of a better word!)
After graduating in 1962, Betty worked in a range of settings in hospitals, nursing centres and convalescent homes for the aged in the suburbs.
In 1963, Betty married Jim Marshall and lived in Melbourne. They have three children Susan, Shaun and Peter. Betty was always busy and usually put her nursing responsibilities ahead of her own needs. After a life of dedicated work, Betty retired from nursing in 2004.
In later years Betty’s health deteriorated and she was hospitalised for long periods undergoing medical treatment. Sadly, Betty passed away in 2013. Lois has offered her bereavement tribute to be published as part of this story….
MARSHALL (Gust) Betty Lorraine. Passed away peacefully on July 1, 2013, aged 73. Much loved sister of Lois and friend of Jan. Loving Auntie Bet of Simon and Vivienne, Helen and Pete, Andrew and Nancy. Loved Great Auntie of Ashleigh (dec), Stephanie and Michaela, Ewan, Claudia and Olivia. Dearly loved and sadly missed. Reunited with Mum and Dad. You are now at peace Stumpy. My love forever Tubby. X ‘Herald Sun’ 4th July2013.
For those readers who aren’t quite sure…Lois was known as ‘Tubby’ and Betty’s nickname was ‘Stumpy.’
Many friends from Yallourn gathered at the funeral in Cheltenham to pay their last respects to Betty. While it was a most sorrowful and moving occasion for all, it was none-the-less a day that some gave measure of the high regard held for Betty during her lifetime. Following the funeral service, Jim and his family arranged for people to celebrate Betty’s life at a wake at the Cheltenham Golf Club. Lois was deeply touched by the love that so many others felt for Betty.
Betty’s ashes are interred in the Memorial Wall at the Mornington Cemetery… not far from the ashes of Vic and Floris Gust. As can be gathered by reading this story, Lois and Betty had been very close and had shared many happy times as sisters. Lois cherished her years with Betty and still smiles about their adventures around Strzelecki Road and ‘out and about’ the town.
Betty features in numerous photographs on the ‘Virtual Yallourn’ website.
1. A story regarding the Yallourn Amateur Athletic Club, that features the roles of Vic and Barry Gust, will be posted on ‘Virtual Yallourn’ sometime in the future. Any readers with stories, photos and memorabilia (eg YAAC meeting programs, ribbons, medals and cuttings from the “Live Wire” etc) are kindly asked to forward to Julie at ‘Virtual Yallourn’ so that they can be included in the sports and pastimes of the town.
2. The Yallourn Hockey Club played its last game in 1979. According to former player Wendy Hunter, the club won three premierships in that final season. Julie George would appreciate stories about the Yallourn Hockey Club in the period 1957-1979. Any copies of team lists, club notes/lists of major events, names of committee members, players, matches, results sheets and press cuttings etc related to the Yallourn Hockey Club would greatly assist Julie in recording the club’s history. Thank you.
3. Do you have any old Annual Reports, newsletters and other printed material related to any other Yallourn sporting clubs? Please consider forwarding a copy for filing on the website. Contact Julie to find out how best to preserve the sporting history of Yallourn for the future generations to read and enjoy.
Written for Virtual Yallourn by Roger Spaull. June 2014.
Lois was awarded this "Royal Visit" certificate by the Shire of Traralgon for her win in the U14 Freestyle Championship at Traralgon in 1954.
Vic, Barry, Betty and Lois together with other members of the YAAC
'Sisters in arms' - Betty & Lois Gust wearing the Yallourn Blues Hockey uniform 1958
'The Herald Sun' - Saturday, 17 October 1959 - Miss Australian Olympics
Floris Gust congratulates Lois on being named "Miss Australian Olympics".
Lois on the day the 'Olympic Pool' was officially opened in 1959
Lois & Vic Gust at Yallourn Pool 1960
Lois took this photo of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier at the Rome Olympic Games. Lois & Floris were seated only metres from the Royal Couple of Monaco.
Lorraine Dupree, Jenny James, Isabel McLaren, Lois Gust
Isabel Mc Laren is the ?
Members of the YSC in front of the 'old' members' tin dressing sheds:
Back Row: Neville Gapes, Jim Richardson, Geoff Hall
2nd Back Row: Janet Walton, Lois Gust, Robyn Garden
2nd Row: Sandra Doxford, Lorraine Dupree, Margaret Wood
Front Row: Heather Stewart, Mary Hutchinson
Lois Gust wearing her YHS Prefect's Badge 1960
Yallourn High School Hockey Team. Mr John Nicholls was the coach.
Lois Gust - Cycling in New Zealand with friends and family