Lorna Oates

Lorna OatesLorna Oates
25 April 1927 - 6 January 2014

Lorna held a number of positions in MU Sydney, both before and after her term as President from 1980-1986. She was Head of Deaneries, Secretary and Vice President for MU Sydney, as well as Secretary for MU Australia. Lorna was also Senior Vice President of MU Australia and was nominated for President of MU Australia in 1992.

 My first remembrance of Lorna is hearing her speak in Helen Cooney’s home. On that occasion she spoke with great passion about what membership of MU really meant. The focus of her thinking was Mary Sumner’s vision to win the homes of the nation for Christ. Along with Jan Berkeley and Bev Derrett the group of leaders present were encouraged to really commit themselves totally to that vision.

For me, that talk was hugely influential and I think every one present went home invigorated and enthused to take up the challenge of promoting the gospel and using the resources of MU to help in the task. I well remember the energy Lorna and other members of the Executive brought to that vision. Of course it was not all plain sailing and some members thought the emphasis was too forceful but for me it gave me the passion for MU I still have. I know that many of our current leaders on Executive and in branches were similarly affected.

 I remember too the long hours Lorna worked. She told me once that at an MU Australia Council Meeting she stayed up all night in order to complete the minutes of the whole meeting so people could take copies home. At that time, without our modern technology, communication was much more labour intensive yet members were kept well informed and more Council Meetings, with all the extra work they involve, were held.

 Lorna stayed involved with MU after she, and her husband Cliff, retired to Katoomba. Lorna became President of that Branch and, at the suggestion of Sandra Hugo, the first MU Worker we employed worked with Lorna in Katoomba.

 For me, and so many members in Sydney, Lorna was an inspiration as she urged us, with passion, to focus our energy on sharing the gospel at every opportunity.

 Jan Livingstone

Life Vice President, MU Australia