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Issue 90, September 2005


Sonja Davies 1923-2005

Sonja Davies (photo The Guardian) It was with great sadness that the Wellington Association learnt of the death of Sonja Davies in May at the age of 81. Sonja was the Patron of the Wellington Association since 1994.

Sonja spent her adult life fighting for the rights of so many New Zealanders. She fought for workers’ rights, child care and equal pay, opportunities for women, nuclear disarmament and peace. She was a labour movement campaigner and became a Member of Parliament in 1987.

Sonja’s personal life was filled with tragedy. Her first love was killed in the second world war leaving her a solo mother and she survived both of her children and her second husband. But her life was also marked by great achievements and as the Prime Minister, Helen Clark, said … “Sonja’s life epitomised the triumph of the human spirit over great adversity”.

Sonja contracted tuberculosis while working as a nurse and was ill for many years. Her daughter Penny suffered from Motor Neuron Disease. Maybe it was because of these tragedies that Sonja had such a great affinity with the work of our Association and agreed to be our Patron. For this we are very grateful.

I personally feel very privileged to have known her and really admired her determination and her positive attitude to everything.

Sonja will be greatly missed. Our thoughts go to her family at this sad time.

Dorothy Tortell

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