Mary Johnston (nee Manning)
Mary began playing hockey in 1937 when she was in 4th grade at St Christopher’s Convent School. She played with that team until leaving school in 1941.
In 1947 Mary was selected to play in the Canberra representative team for Country Week under the captaincy of Elfreda Bennett. Mary remained in the Canberra representative team until 1960. She was Vice Captain of the team from 1949 until 1952 and in 1953 she was appointed Captain, a position she held until she retired in 1960.
In 1950 Mary was selected in the Country Seconds team and in 1953 she was selected in the Country First team. Her 1953 selection was a momentous achievement. In 1953 Mary made her first NSW State side and remained in the NSW team until 1958.
At the conclusion of the Interstate carnival in 1958 Mary was selected as Vice-Captain of the Australian team for the World Tournament to be held in Amsterdam in 1959, thus becoming the first lady from the ACT to be selected in an Australian team. At this tournament Mary was awarded the honour of carrying the Australian flag in the opening ceremony. The Australian team was very successful in this tour. The game was played when the boat to England had a stop over for six hours. On the tour the Australian team defeated Sri Lanka, Spain, Belgium, Holland, Canada, Scotland and South Africa. They drew with England in the round matches, eventually losing to them in the final.
Mary retired from playing in 1960 but maintained an interest in the game through umpiring and coaching until 1972. From 1948-60 Mary was on the committee of the Canberra Women’s Hockey Association holding the positions of Treasurer and Match Secretary, and was also a member of the Selection Committee. In 1961 Mary was appointed a NSW Country selector.
Born: 2 July 1927