ABOUT YALLOURN ASSOCIATION

Yallourn Association (formerly Yallourn Old Girls’ Association) has approx 600 members, mostly ex-students from Yallourn High School (YHS) and Yallourn Tech School (YTS), but also some ex-residents and friends of Yallourn – people who used to travel by foot, bicycle, bus or car to visit our many sporting fields and clubs, groups, swimming pool and picture theatre.

As you will read further, the Association started out as a girls’ get-together back in 1976 (after the big ‘Back to Yallourn’) and we just recently celebrated our 40th anniversary in March 2016.

Join our Association and journey back with us to the old township of Yallourn in Latrobe Valley, Victoria – a unique town built between the 1920s and 1950s by the State Electricity Commission of Victoria (SECV) to house their workers and then dug up by the same SECV for the coal beneath in the 1980s.

We print and distribute two newsletters per year, full of wonderful stories, memories, photos etc and all the details of our annual reunions.

Our reunions are held in March each year – alternating between a sit-down lunch one year, usually held at the Morwell RSL Club and the next year, a more casual affair held at Woorabinda School Camp on Lake Narracan, where accommodation is available for the Saturday night.

Special thanks to the support given to us over the years by Latrobe City and Public Records Office Victoria in preserving the history of Yallourn for all to share.

Join our Association and help keep the memories alive. Contribute to the archives we have stored on our Virtual Yallourn website – www.virtualyallourn.com – and we welcome you all to our reunions.

Current Committee Members
YHS First Year
   President:
 
Judy King (Ross)
 1951
   Vice President:
 
Jean Fox (Hattam)
 1937
   Secretary:
 
Julie George (Francis)
 1966
   Treasurer:
Chris French (Francis)
 
1962
   Committee: 
June Jardine (Blenkiron)
Kendal Laws (Taylor)
Mavis McAllister (Webb)
Carol Summersgill (Hunt)
Helene Warner (Wall)
 
1942
1977
1940
1959
1962

Our committee represents eras from 1937 to 1977 and we hold our Annual General Meetings in Newborough, usually in November, to discuss past and future reunions and various project ideas.
We welcome new members with new ideas – so if you’re interested, please contact Julie.
Even if you don’t wish to join the committee, we encourage you to send us your thoughts about reunions, our websites, various projects etc.

Yallourn Association’s History

Back in 1976, little did June Jardine (Blenkiron) and Lucy Bathurst (Crowe) know that the dinner they had planned for six to eight classmates would become 126 girls from the 1920s, 30s and 40s; and that they would continue to meet each year for the next 40+ years – hence the beginning of Yallourn Old Girls’ Association – and more affectionately referred to as YOGA.

This may have been a once only event, as very few married names or addresses of the ‘girls’ were known and as many had moved away from Yallourn when they married. Fortunately, June collected, in a school exercise book, all the names, addresses and telephone numbers of those who attended the dinner. Following many requests for a copy of the list, Nancy Smith collected money for its copying and postage. Later, Val Kerr had the list typed.

Many of the girls also expressed their desire to view the photographs that John Jardine had taken of all present. The 8th of May 1976, at the Northern Reserve Hall, Holmes Road, Morwell was the date and venue chosen to meet and view the photographs. The list was sent out to all the ‘girls’ advising them of the meeting and asking everyone to bring a plate.

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At this meeting, it was decided to meet again for dinner in 1977. On the night, June went to Sonja Bates’ (Ostlund) home in Holmes Road, Morwell to telephone the Yallourn Hotel to make a booking, but with no success. George, Sonja’s husband, said: “Don’t worry June, you can have the dinner at the SEC Visitors’ Centre, Morwell and we will pay for the dinner, which they did.

An election was held and a committee was formed. The members of that very first committee for the Yallourn Old Girls’ Association (YOGA) were:

Tess Gray (Whitehouse) [Treasurer], Gloria Stewart (Thorpe), Neta Billingsley (Spittal), Val Embry (Kerr) [Secretary], Lucy Bathurst (Crowe) [President] and June Jardine (Blenkiron).

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Tess Gray suggested the name Yallourn Old Girls’ Association, which has the acronym YOGA. (The Association later became incorporated in 2005.)

The first official dinner was held at the SEC Visitors’ Centre, Morwell on the 5th of March 1977, and so YOGA was born

In July 2015, YOGA officially changed its name to YALLOURN ASSOCIATION. Over the years since 1976, the Association has spread its wings and from a Yallourn High School girls only reunion, it encouraged the ‘old boys’ to join in, then the husbands of the ‘old girls’; then ex-residents from the town and finally welcomed anyone with a connection to Yallourn, as many used to come to our fine town to the picture theatre or Kernot Hall, to the many sporting fields and clubs to play hockey, cricket, footy, soccer, vigaro, badminton etc, participate in one of the many groups (scouts, guides, theatrical etc) or just to swim in or laze by our olympic-size swimming pool.

We welcome you all!