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In memorium | Josie Boland 14 September 1956 – 22 July 2023 
By Christo Peters - Wed 2 Aug 2023 8:07pm
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Josie was born in Murchison and grew up in Richmond and Timaru. She was an Economist in the forest industry, and then moved into health management. Her most recent job was Service Manager in the Radiology department with the CDHB where she was highly valued by her colleagues. In her 20s Josie was a runner, then in her 40s Josie began orienteering with the Hawkes Bay Club. Along with her family, Greg, Erika and Conal, Josie’s first major events were the NZ Orienteering Championships at Rotorua and NZ MTBO Champs in Wairarapa in 2001.

In 2002 Hawkes Bay Orienteering Club awarded Josie with the Heather Mardon Trophy for the “Most meritorious performance by a woman” for her 1 st place in W40AS in the ANZ Challenge. The family moved to Christchurch in 2003, joining PAPO in 2004. Josie joined the PAPO committee in 2007 taking on the role of Events Co-ordinator through to 2012, continuing in MTBO and VIP programme co- ordinator roles until at least 2014.

Josie loved cycling, so MTBO became Josie’s biggest orienteering passion. In 2012 before a MTBO event In Rotorua she said “This has to be the ultimate sport – to combine mountain biking with orienteering is about as good as it gets.”

She was instrumental in co-ordination of the MTBO Carnival, including the Australia – New Zealand Challenge, held in January 2012 in Central Otago. She stepped up again for the NZ MTBO championships held at Hanmer Springs in 2014. There weren’t many PAPO MTBO events where Josie would not be helping in some way. Josie also planned and controlled both foot and MTBO events, becoming a B grade controller in 2012.

For these efforts PAPO awarded Josie the 2012 David Faulkner Trophy for Volunteer Contribution for event co-ordination in trying circumstances after the Christchurch earthquakes. In 2014 she was a joint recipient of the Te Kōhaka O Tūhaitara Trust Trophy for Best Event of the Year for the MTBO champs at Hanmer Springs.

She was keenly interested in progressing MTBO at a national level and was appointed as convenor of the ONZ MTBO selectors panel 2019 – 2023, continuing through to the announcement in June of the team for the Australia – New Zealand challenge to be held later this year. 

Josie’s orienteering could best be described as erratic. She interspersed good results with some surprising deviations, but always shared with good humour. Of particular note, in 2007 Josie won the W50A Long Distance at the NZ champs and in 2019 with Viv Prince at the NZ Rogaine champs won not just the Women’s Super-vet title, but also the Women’s Veterans and Open titles! Josie was also included in many NZ MTBO teams for the Australia – NZ challenge greatly enjoying trips to Australia with many orienteering friends. Josie’s last orienteering event was at Waitangi Weekend.

Alongside orienteering, MTBO and rogaining Josie extended her love of outdoor activities to being a regular entrant in the “Granny Franchise” team in the Spring Challenge Adventure Race; entries in TWALK; a Coast to Coast team race in 2007: and bike-packing, completing the Tour Aotearoa in 2020.

In 2022 ONZ awarded her with 6-year volunteer award. These awards are to be presented at the AGM at Labour Weekend, but Josie received her award recently. Pete Swanson put her award in the post so she could receive it before she passed away. It was a 6 Year Volunteer Service Award for being on the National  MTBO Committee. She did get to drink out of it! 


PAPO offers their support to PAPO member Greg Bristow, Josie’s partner, and to her children and their families Erika, Jonathan, Huxley and Adelaide.; Conal and Michelle.

Greg has sent a web streaming link for those who are not able to attend Josie’s service

They can watch live at the same time or up to 90 days post service here

By Alister Metherall, aided by Chrissie Williams, with Greg Bristow’s final tick of approval!

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