Hockey New Zealand is sad to acknowledge the passing of a hockey stalwart Vera Burt MBE.
Vera passed away on 21 September, 2017 and boasted a life in hockey with 22 years playing and 34 years umpiring. She was a life member of Hockey New Zealand.
Vera's hockey career started in Auckland in the mid 1940s before she moved to Otago briefly to represent that province, then returned to represent Auckland from 1947 to 1958.
She played for New Zealand against Australia in 1960, towards the end of her representative hockey career.
In the early 1970s, Vera was instrumental in establishing the North Shore Women's Hockey Association and remained at the forefront of hockey administration until the mid-90s. She remained a regular guest at Harbour Hockey right up to the end of the 2017 season.
Vera was also an A Grade International Hockey Umpire through the 1970s, officiating at a 1971 Women's World Cup and at an international tournament in Vancouver in 1979 and served on the New Zealand Hockey Umpires Council through the 1980s.
For her many years of dedication to the sport, Vera was made a life member of Auckland Hockey in 1983, of the New Zealand Women's Hockey Association in 1985, a Life Member of the New Zealand Umpires Federation in 1988, and of the North Shore Women's Hockey Association in 1988. Vera was awarded an MBE in 1989 and was inducted into the Harbour Sport Hall of Fame.
Vera was the first coach in Harbour history to have achieved a National Premier Representative title.
She coached North Shore women to the K Cup win in 1978. This success followed on from the representative team winning every grade at national tournament over a five year period. An outstanding achievement, unequalled in New Zealand.
Vera played club hockey in Auckland and on the North Shore, establishing the North Shore College Old Girls Club. She played representative hockey for both Otago and Auckland. She was a double international, representing her country in both hockey and cricket.
For 34 years she administered umpiring in New Zealand, umpired at national tournaments, and was President and Chairman of umpiring councils and a practical examiner.
Vera also administered hockey at club, association and New Zealand levels. Before establishing Harbour Vera was on the Auckland Executive for 21 years. Her major triumph, and probably the most personally satisfying, was the formation of the North Shore Women's Hockey Association in 1972.
Leading and guiding the growth of hockey, and its facilities in the region was her objective ever since.
Vera had hand in every major development - the founding of the combined association, the original sand turf at Rosedale, the pavilion and grass fields at Rosedale, the current pavilion and artificial turfs at Rosedale South and the planned new home of Harbour.