Mrs Joan Tonkin awarded President of Honour

Mrs Tonkin's celebration was attended by some very distinguished guests and close family. A heartfelt keynote address was given by the Hon. Richard Court, and Her Worship the Lord Mayor of South Perth, Sue Doherty, spoke to Mrs Tonkin about living in the City of South Perth. Mrs Tonkin's sister, Mrs Isla Shepherd, daughter Margaret Sharp and close friend Mrs Sandra Davidson also attended, along with the current President of the Society, Mr Terry Spiro, representatives from the Society, and the staff and residents of Concorde Aged Care Home.

Mrs Tonkin was presented with flowers by Jasmine Jansen and William Paparo, who are the winner and runner up respectively of the Sir Francis Burt Speech and Leadership Contest 2013, which Joan is a patron of.

The Royal Commonwealth Society supports and promotes the Commonwealth, its culture and values, with a particular focus on youth and education: two causes that are very close to Mrs Tonkin's heart.

Mrs Tonkin was born in Western Australia in 1920. A very talented and intelligent woman, Joan has had an impressive career working with organisations such as the Australian Red Cross, Girl Guides WA, Scouts Australia and the WA Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Her lifelong involvement with the Royal Commonwealth Society began almost 60 years ago when she became the Honorary Secretary of what was then the Royal Empire Society, which was established in Perth in 1954. It was during that time that she met her husband, the late John Tonkin, who later became the Premier of Western Australia.

Mrs Tonkin became the president of the Society in 1982 and held the position for 31 years until she retired in March 2012 at 91 years of age. The Royal Commonwealth Society's office is open four days a week, and Joan was at work every day up until her retirement.

She has also made a significant contribution as part of the organisation's Central Council in London, and was made an honorary Vice President to in recognition of her ongoing support.

Hall & Prior would like to congratulate Mrs Tonkin on an incredible achievement, and a lifetime of service


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