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An Exceptional Lady will be Sadly Missed

Verna Brooks will be long remembered for her energetic commitment to older person’s physical activity, health and wellbeing within Bannockburn and surrounding townships.


Verna Brooks
02/09/1928 – 14/07/2013

Without any doubt, Verna’s legacy will be the ongoing success of the Soft Tennis and Exercise program which is now well entrenched within Golden Plains Shire social support programs.

The Barwon Older Adults Recreation Network was operating in Geelong until a move was undertaken to expand the activity and social program into several regional locations where Bannockburn and Ocean Grove were selected.

Locally, Joan Mason, Jenny Mutimer and others could see the benefit of such a program and took the challenge to establish the activity at the stadium in High Street, some fourteen years ago now.

It was a chance meeting between Joan and Verna Brooks in the supermarket that resulted in Verna agreeing to participate, Verna just wanted to be a player and she was for many years before eventually taking on the principal role as organiser and coordinator. Verna was very well supported by a band of willing helpers and as a result the Soft Tennis and Exercise program has grown to be very successful.

During this time, Verna’s special qualities and attributes were on display in strongly advocating and securing adult activities for residents of Bannockburn and surrounding townships.

People should take inspiration when reflecting on Verna’s commitment, dedication, her preparedness to advocate on behalf of others her professional and authoritive attitude, at all times her caring, supportive and friendly nature.

Verna was awarded a Golden Plains Shire Senior Citizen of the Year award, in recognition of her significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of older adults within the local community. 

Verna, was instrumental in keeping the participants involved through coordinating the weekly activities as well as the annual Christmas celebration, the regular visits to Ocean Grove soft tennis program and more recently a very enjoyable mystery bus tour to Castlemaine. 

Verna was also engaged as a volunteer within an exercise program for people with a disability in Bannockburn.

A very special friend and exceptional lady, sadly missed.

By Noel Brebner.