Entered By: QI Staff
23 July 2013
Leonie “Lon” Campbell OAM — QI of Alstonville-Wollongbar
Date of Birth: 11 December 1913
Date of Passing: 22 June 2013
What a trailblazer Leonie “Lon” Campbell was and what a legacy she has left us our own Southern Star. Sadly Lon died 22nd June 2013 at ninety nine and a half years, not quite making the hundred, but still with dignity and her sense of humour that we cherished till the end. On 28th August 1958 Lon became a Charter member of Gunnedah Quota Club and she was made a Life Member of QI Alstonville-Wollongbar in 2008 when she achieved 50 years in Quota. Until two years ago Lon was still an active member of her club, always willing to sit on the door to sell raffle tickets or cooking a slice. Lon’s Quota journey took many turns – from being in her words “too shy to do anything else but as chief washer up” to becoming the second International Director from Australia on the Quota International Board.
In 1963 when Leon was elected as 28th District Lieutenant-Governor, her inspiration to seek higher office came when she heard an address given by Joan May who was pushing strongly for an Australian presence on the board. Little did she dream that not long after her term as Governor that she would be asked to stand for election on the Quota International board.
As Leonie and her husband Jim moved around New South Wales she always found a Quota Club, the clubs she was a member over the years were Gunnedah, Newcastle, chartering Port Stephens in 1976, Maitland, Ballina and lastly Alstonville-Wollongbar. A testimonial dinner was held in 1994 by Gunnedah Club for her, with South Pacific Area Director Verna Stewart attending (who was later to become International President). Her two sons Malcolm and Robert grew up with Quota in their lives and were very supportive, attending many celebratory Quota functions, often driving her with some quite hilarious tales of these journeys – but always proud of what their mother had achieved and encouraging her in every way.
Over the years Lon received numerous awards, and her work, and what she had achieved, was acknowledged by many. Of all of these the highlight would be when she was awarded the OAM (Order of Australia Medal) on 10th June 2002 for her services to the community, a great honour but well deserved. At the Convention in Brisbane in 2001 Lon was presented with a 2 Star Wander Frey Joiner Foundation Award – what an exciting day that was with great celebration. As members of her previous clubs wanted to acknowledge this occasion, a special dinner was held in September 2001 with Lon’s friends and family involved.
Lon endeared herself to many, everyone felt that she was their best friend giving them encouragement, support and advice. Numerous Quotarians can say that is it because of Lon’s advice, support and mentoring that they have broadened their Quota lives; taking on roles such as President and Governor that they wouldn’t have previously had the courage to nominate for.
Beyond Leonie’s Quota life her church and strong faith were a very important part of her, where again she was involved in groups attached to the church. It is Lon’s strong faith that helped her in her life when illness of family or herself encouraged her to keep strong and challenge these adversities.
She maintained friendships over the years with the members of the international board and would often ring up after a Quota meeting to one of these friends in the United States.
Good bye Lon – loved and blessed by all.