Celebrating a life well spent
MOYA Sonnenburg celebrated her 100th birthday on June 18 with family and friends.
Moya was a long-term resident of Tiaro and Maryborough, before moving to the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast to live with her daughter.
Born Moya Catherine Stockwell in 1916 at Maryborough's Lady Musgrave Hospital to timber cutter Ted Stockwell and his wife Cassie, she was raised at Tiaro with her eight brothers and sisters.
Being part of a large family and with her mother often unwell, Moya often had to look after her mother and assist with the raising of her younger brothers and sisters.
This no doubt contributed to her strength of character that saw her reach her 100th birthday.
Moya and her siblings attended Tiaro State School, then high school at the Maryborough Boys and Girls Grammar schools, where some of their names feature on the school honour boards for academic and sporting achievements.
Moya passed Junior at the Girls Grammar then trained as a teacher.
Her first posting was for a short period to the small school at Goomeribong, then to a one-teacher school at Nunkulla, near Felton, on the Darling Downs, where she taught for five years.
Moya married Fred Sonnenburg in 1941 and moved into their home for the next 16 years in Tiaro.
Moya and Fred had five children: Jeanne, Roy, Alan, Dell and Rodney. They all attended Tiaro State School and high school in Maryborough.
Moya was very active in community affairs in Tiaro and taught at Tiaro State School until she moved to Maryborough in 1962.
Moya taught briefly at the Christian Brothers School and then at Central State School for many years until she retired at age 60.
After Fred died in 1988, Moya continued to live in Maryborough. After her retirement from teaching she travelled overseas a number of times.
She was involved with Meals on Wheels and was president of Maitlia Potters (Bottle Brush Crafts).
At age 89 she sold her home in Maryborough and moved to live with her daughter Dell and her husband Andy at Chevallum.
Moya has 12 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.
When asked for her thoughts on reaching 100, she said "I just accepted getting older, but after I turned 90 I wondered about the future.
"I hoped to have good health, so as not to be a burden on anyone, and be able to do things to help my children."
Moya has continued to be the same vital, energetic person, always ready to have a friendly chat with anyone throughout her 100 years.