Vale Jone Armstrong OAM

Jone Armstrong takes a closer look at an album of pictures of the families supported by Rainbow of the Southern Highlands. Photo: Jackie Meyers

Jone Armstrong takes a closer look at an album of pictures of the families supported by Rainbow of the Southern Highlands. Photo: Jackie Meyers

The Southern Highlands has lost a community treasure.

Jone and one of her young siblings at home on the Wyeera property. Photo: supplied

Jone and one of her young siblings at home on the Wyeera property. Photo: supplied

One of the driving forces behind Rainbow of the Southern Highlands, Jone Armstrong OAM, has died.

Jone was born at Obi Obi in Queensland on January 6, 1927.

She was the first of 12 children to Dick and Grace Jackson.

The family moved to the Southern Highlands in 1931 where they made their home on a farming property, Wyeera, on Kangaloon Road, Bowral.

The property is the home of the Bong Bong Picnic Races. 

Jone often shared stories of her entire family being involved in building the fences and support buildings needed for the races.

She lived with her family at Wyeera until she married her first husband John Lyons in 1949 and they relocated into the Bowral township. 

The couple had two children, Rhonda and Helen.

The young mum, married her second husband John “Johnny” Armstrong in 1958.

The couple then moved to a home in Myrtle Street, Bowral.

This property became a life-long home for the couple where they raised daughters, Rhonda and Helen, and sons Robert and John. 

Jone and Johnny had a strong commitment to community.

They will long be remembered for their role in forming Rainbow of the Southern Highlands in 1982.

The charity was established with a dream to support seriously ill children and their families in every way possible.

Jone was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2011.

Jone was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2011.

It was a dream that was quickly achieved with Jone continuing to drive the work of the charity after Johnny passed away in 2005.

Her contribution in the community did not go unnoticed.

Jone receiving the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2011 for service to the community through Rainbow of the Southern Highlands

She was also awarded an Australia Day Citizen’s Award in 1999, a Centenary Medal and was recognised for her work through various service clubs.

Jone was a much-loved mother, grandmother, great grandmother and great great grandmother.

The family described Jone as “a pioneer of change, she was proud, resourceful, determined and community minded”.

Jone passed away on August 31, 2017, aged 90.

A funeral service was held at St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, Bowral, on September 8.

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