June Jorgenson (née Jordan) passed away peacefully on 30 March 2019, aged 95.
June was born in Penrith and was the eldest of eight children. She was always very proud of the fact that she was a descendant of New South Wales pioneers.
Her father was descended from Private Thomas Sharp of the 102nd British Regiment, who arrived in 1793. He transferred to 73rd Regiment and took his discharge in Australia in 1815. Her father was a World War I veteran, being seriously wounded by machine gun fire on the Western Front. Like many veterans he suffered from these war injuries and was awarded a Totally and Permanently Incapacitated pension.
Her mother was descended from Private William Sadleir of 57/17 British Regiment, who arrived in 1824 and took his discharge in 1833, receiving a grant of land at Bowral.
The depression years were very difficult for her and her family and I believe this helped her develop her strong independence that she was known for. She was fiercely protective and refused to be controlled. She was gifted with very high intelligence and a near photographic memory so she was a woman that could not be dismissed lightly. Many men found this out over the years.
After she left school she completed a secretarial/accountancy course and worked for accountants until joining the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service as a communicator/writer. She worked in the Captain's office and Admiral's office until her discharge in 1947. She never publicly talked about this, but she worked in secret tunnels under Sydney Harbour and was part of the team that decoded encrypted enemy messages. Her work was instrumental in our success of many battles and the saving of many lives.
She had three children, and later 4 grand children. When the children were old enough she rejoined the workforce about 1965 working part time until 1972, then full time with the Life Offices Association of Australia until retirement.
Jorgenson's involvement with the Ex-Womens Royal Australian Naval Service began in about 1963. Since 1980 she had been a member of the executive committee as well as holding various positions such as welfare officer, president and vice president . June had represented the WRANS on various working committees including the School Talks Committee.
A member of the Naval Association of Australia - Northern Suburbs Sub-Section, Jorgenson was president since 1997.
She had also been an active members of the Australian Veterans and Defence Services Council for over a decade. And also a member of the Northbridge Progress Asssociation for decades.
In 1963 Jorgenson joined the Australian Legion of Ex-Servicemen and Women. From 1964 until 1971 she was Honorary Secretary for the Willoughby Sub Branch. She was also foundation President of the Willoughby Legion Womens Bowling Club (1969-1973). From 1975 she has been a State Councillor of the Legion at head office and from 1989 State Secretary. In 1990 she became the delegate to the National Council of Australian Legions. She also represented the Australian Legion of Ex-Servicemen and Women on the
Bicentennial Celebration (1988) and Australia Remembers Committee in 1995. She was also the Legion’s delegate to the Battle for Australia Committee. In October 2002 she became a member of the working group for the "Women in War Project". In early 2000’s she became the President of the Australian Legion and served in this capacity (as well as State Secretary) until ill health forced her retirement in 2016.
June was also a member of the Returned Services League (RSL), for over 45 years Jorgenson had been the Honorary Organiser/Honorary Secretary for the Chatswood-
Willoughby Anzac Dawn Service committee for over 20 years.
Twice an Alderman (1983-1987 and 1991-1995) on the Willoughby City Council, she served on 15 committees. She also became the city vice-president and member of the executive committee of the Australian Local Government Women's Association.
As you can see, she was always actively involved in assisting ex-service people and the community, being a member of many ex-service organisations, local council, associations and committees. She attended many services and events every year dedicated to the fallen.
June Jorgenson obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Environmental Law) from the UNSW in 1989 and in 2002 graduated from the University of Technology with a Bachelor of Law.
On 26 January 1997 Jorgenson was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to veterans through the Australian Legion of Ex-Servicemen and Women and the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service. On Anzac Day 2003, she was awarded the Commonwealth Centennial Medal.