Vale Joan Somerville OAM

Good morning

I am deeply saddened to report the recent death of our Patron, Mrs Joan Somerville OAM. She was 93 years old.

Whilst I am not in possession of a complete history of Joan’s involvement in the sport, nor her many achievements, it is important you are aware that Joan was one of the great stalwarts of our sport. Her involvement in swimming was both lengthy and extensive, and a very significant part of her life.

Some of you may recall Joan’s attendance at WASA meetings in her later years, often accompanied by her daughter, Kristine, and sometimes assisted by Judy Tier. Joan was, of course, our Patron but this simply capped her contribution to swimming as an official and administrator.

Joan’s club was Queenscliff Ladies Amateur Swimming Club, of which she was the first Captain back in 1961/62. Joan went on to serve as President of Queenscliff Ladies for a remarkable 40 year period, from 1975/76 to 2014/15.

In 1981/82, Joan was elected President of Warringah Amateur Swimming Association and held this position for three years, although she would return to the Presidency in 1995/96. Joan was the Association’s Senior Vice President from 1990/91 to 1994/95, 1996/97 to 1998/99 and finally, from 2000/01 to 2007/08. She was also Assistant Treasurer in 1980/81 and Minute Secretary in 1991/92.

In recognition of her services to the Association, Joan was awarded Life Membership in 1986/87.

In 1999/00, Joan received the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to swimming, a much deserved recognition.

In 2009/10, Warringah Aquatic Centre celebrated its 30th anniversary. In recognition of this special occasion, an Officials’ Hall of Fame was established. Joan was one of the inaugural inductees, along with Isa Wye, Don Roberts, Sunny Bidner, Jamie Jenkins and, posthumously, Stuart Somerville and Marj Smith.

Three years ago, Lois Clarke, Lyn Foley and I (and many others) were delighted to attend Joan’s 90th birthday party. It was a wonderful celebration for a beautiful lady who had lived a rich and rewarding life.

Joan will certainly be missed by those who knew her.

On behalf of our President, Lois Clarke, I extend the Association’s condolences to Joan’s very loving family.

Vale Joan Somerville OAM.

Toby Williams
Secretary, WASA

Funeral Details

Joan’s funeral will be held on
Thursday November 3rd at 11:30am
at St Andrews Presbyterian, Raglan Street Manly and after at Harbord Bowling Club.