Scottish, indeed British, hockey lost a great friend and ambassador with the passing of Jean Robertson last month. A multi-talented sportswoman, Jean's first love was hockey and she became a top-class international umpire - officiating at two Olympic Games: Seoul in 1988 and Barcelona in 1992.
By A P Brownie, The Scotsman
Having represented her school, St Andrews University and British Universities as well as various club sides as a player, when Jean turned her skills to umpiring she found her forte. She quickly progressed up the ranks and travelled the world to umpire hockey matches, including several intercontinental and world cup matches. Her 100th cap as umpire came during the Barcelona Olympics - earning her a Golden Whistle. Jean's enthusiasm and support for hockey at both domestic level and in the international arena will be greatly missed.
Interested in all sports, Jean was competitive whenever she stepped on the ice for a 'friendly' game of curling or on to the squash court in a league match. In golf she was a formidable match play opponent whose name appears as ladies champion at Balwearie, Carnoustie, Crieff and Crail golf clubs. Having won county caps, Jean retained a single-figure handicap to the end. Away from organized sports, Jean's love of hill walking meant that she was three-quarters of the way to bagging all the Munros.
This passion for the outdoors made Jean an outstanding mountain leader in the Duke of Edinburgh scheme for young people and she was a qualified gold-level assessor.
In her chosen profession of teaching (following on from her BA (Hons) from St Andrews University), Jean went the extra mile to bring history alive with field trips to many famous historical sites at home and abroad. Her own thirst for knowledge and love of reading were passed on to the many hundreds of children at the three schools at which she taught: Carnoustie High, Crieff High and, latterly, Madras College in St Andrews.
Jean was also a staunch supporter of the arts with an eclectic taste in music, and an avid theatre-goer. Her wide range of interests and commitment to both work and leisure pursuits reflected her belief that life is for living to the full. In everything she chose to do whether in the sporting, professional or social context, she inspired and supported others.
Jean Robertson will be fondly remembered and sadly missed by all whose lives she enriched, and especially by her close friends and family.
Jean Robertson: Born: 8 May, 1951, in Auchtertool, Fife. Died: 25 January, 2008, in Kirkcaldy, aged 56.