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Nairn, Mary (c. 1902 - 1989)

c. 1902
Armidale?, New South Wales, Australia
01 July 1989
Hockey Coach, Hockey Player and Sports Administrator


Affectionately known as "Mrs. Hockey," Mary Nairn was responsible for bringing hockey to the Redcliffe district of Brisbane in the early 1930s. She was an elite player and was known to be one of the best full backs in Queensland.

It is, however, as a coach that she really excelled. As a testament to her coaching ability, Mary made history by becoming the first woman in Australia to coach an A grade men's team, a number of whom went on to represent Australia. Her coaching skills also extended interstate; she coached the Queensland women's team in 1955 and also acted as a selector for interstate teams.

In 1959 Mary was honoured with the opening of the Mary Nairn gates at the entrance to the Redcliffe hockey fields and in 1971 was named "Woman of the Year" by the Quota Club for her outstanding work with Redcliffe's youth. At the Redcliffe Hockey Club's fiftieth anniversary celebrations in 1982, as a testament to her hard work and passion for the game, Mary, also known as the "Queen of Peninsula hockey," received a standing ovation. At the time of her death in 1989 the Redcliffe hockey club, which she had been instrumental in establishing, had grown from one women's team in 1932 to 19 men's, women's and junior teams.

Sources used to compile this entry: Redcliffe Museum Online, [accessed 2008-07-17].

Nikki Henningham

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