It is with great sadness that Waikato Hockey Association acknowledges the passing of Gladys O’Brien, who is not only a Life Member of Waikato Hockey Association, but also Hockey New Zealand.
It is hard to do justice when trying to describe all that Gladys did for and gave to hockey in her 70 plus years of involvement. She was a player, an umpire, a coach, a manager and an incredible administrator.
Some of the highlights worth noting were:
- Representative player Waikato Women’s Team from 1948 (aged 16) to 1964
- Local and National umpire 1965 to 1980
- Manager New Zealand Woman’s Hockey Team 1975 to 1985
- President Hamilton Woman’s Hockey Association 1969 to 1977
- President New Zealand Woman’s Hockey Association 1973 to 1977
- President Waikato Hockey Association 1997 to 2001
Just as important as the above roles, Gladys spent 60 plus years volunteering at grass roots level and was an important member of the inaugural Waikato Hockey Chartable Trust, who were responsible for fundraising and organising the construction of the first artificial turf in Hamilton.
Gladys was immensely proud of her family legacy in hockey, with the national and international playing and coaching successes of her nephew Shane McLeod.
Gladys will be sadly missed by all who knew her in the Hockey Community throughout New Zealand, but her inputs and achievements will never be forgotten.