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Sonja Davies, nee Vile was born 11 November 1923 in Wallaceville, Upper Hutt City, Wellington Region, New Zealand to Gerald Dempsey () and Gwladys Ilma Vile (1895-) and died 12 June 2005 Wellington, Wellington Region, New Zealand of unspecified causes. She married Lindsay Nathan () 14 November 1941 in Wellington Region, New Zealand.

Sonja Margaret Loveday Davies (née Vile, 11 November 1923 – 12 June 2005) was a New Zealand trade unionist, peace campaigner, and Member of Parliament. On 6 February 1987 Davies was the third appointee to the Order of New Zealand.[1]

Siblings

Sonja Davies 
Sonja Margaret Loveday Vile (1923-2005)
Marching On is the second volume of Sonja Davies' autobiography

Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Pencarrow
In office
1987 – 1993
Preceded by Fraser Colman
Succeeded by Trevor Mallard

Born 11 November 1923(1923-11-11)
Wallaceville, New Zealand
Died 12 June 2005 (age 81)
Wellington, New Zealand
Birth name Sonja Margaret Loveday Vile
Political party Labour

Early life

Sonja Vile was born in the Upper Hutt suburb of Wallaceville in 1923.[2] Her mother was Gwladys Ilma Vile, a nurse,[2] and a granddaughter of Job Vile.[3] Sonja Vile learned the identity of her father, Gerald Dempsey, an army major from Cork, only when she was 20, but never made any contact. She had four different foster homes before her grandparents took her in, and they lived in Oamaru and Woodville. Aged seven, she went back to her mother in Wellington to live with her younger sister and her new step-father. The family moved to Dunedin, then Auckland, and in 1939 back to Wellington; by then, she also had a younger brother. The speeches by pacifists Ormond Burton and Arch Barrington appealed to her social conscience but caused tension with her parents, and she consequently left home aged 16 supporting herself by work in bookshops.[2]

Involvement in unions

Davies helped to found the Working Women's Council, and in 1974 she became the first female executive of the Federation of Labour.

Member of Parliament

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
1987–1990 42nd Pencarrow style="font-size:smaller; white-space:nowrap; background:Template:New Zealand Labour Party/meta/shading" | [[New Zealand Labour Party|Template:New Zealand Labour Party/meta/shortname]]
1990–1993 43rd Pencarrow style="font-size:smaller; white-space:nowrap; background:Template:New Zealand Labour Party/meta/shading" | [[New Zealand Labour Party|Template:New Zealand Labour Party/meta/shortname]]

Davies became the Labour MP for Pencarrow in 1987 and served two terms, retiring in 1993; Trevor Mallard replaced her. Davies died in Wellington in 2005.[4] One statement at her funeral was probably wrong: she was barely married by age 17, and the divorce was several years later.

Media

Her autobiography, Bread and Roses: Her Story, (ISBN 1-86953-162-0), was turned into a film in 1994. Directed by Gaylene Preston), the film was also called Bread and Roses. A second volume of autobiography, Marching On (ISBN 1-86941-296-6) was published in 1997.

References

  1. ^ "The Order of New Zealand" (12 February 1987) 20 New Zealand Gazette 705 at 709.
  2. ^ a b c Else, Anne. "Sonja Davies". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/6D1. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "Vile: John D. Vile and Ann Foster". http://jo.warby.markingtime.bigpondhosting.com/p74.htm. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  4. ^ Taylor, Kevin (20 June 2005). "Sonja Davies – 'A very great New Zealander'". New Zealand Herald. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10331627. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 

External links

Assembly seats
Preceded by
Fraser Colman
Member of Parliament for Pencarrow
1987–1993
Succeeded by
Trevor Mallard

Template:Order of New Zealand

Persondata
NAME Davies, Sonja
ALTERNATIVE NAMES
SHORT DESCRIPTION Politician, trade unionist
DATE OF BIRTH 11 November 1923
PLACE OF BIRTH Wallaceville, New Zealand
DATE OF DEATH 12 June 2005
PLACE OF DEATH Wellington, New Zealand

Warning: Default sort key "Davies, Sonja" overrides earlier default sort key "Vile, Sonja Margaret_Loveday".



Children




Offspring of Sonja Davies, nee Vile and Don (‘Red’) Brinsen (-c1944)  ¢
Name Birth Death Joined with
Penelope (Penny) (1944-1994)



Offspring of Sonja Davies, nee Vile and Charles Edward Mercer (Charlie) Davies (-1971)  ¢
Name Birth Death Joined with
Mark Davies (1957-1978)








Residences

Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General
₪ Wedding
  • Divorced within a few years.
2 Wedding 2
  • Red was a Marine corporal from Nebraska. They were engaged. He died in World War II.
¢2 Children 2
  • At least one of Sonja's children had children. The Te Ara biography has a photo of her with three grandchildren.
¢3 Children 3
  • At least one of her children had children. The Te Ara biography has a photo of her with grandchildren.
¶ Death
  • Funeral at Wellington Town Hall.




Robin Patterson

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Sonja Davies. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
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