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Kathleen Mary O'Sullivan was born at Matapu on 26 October 1916, the daughter of James and Katherine O'Sullivan nee Sheahan. She spent her early years in the district attending Matapu School and later Erskine College at Island Bay, Wellington. Kath then returned to Matapu to assist her father in running the family farm, and spent nearly all her life there, only moving to Hawera shortly before her death.


She quickly made a name for herself as a fine tennis player with an ideal match temperament.  She achieved a remarkable record of winning the singles championship of the Hawera Lawn Tennis Club on ten consecutive occasions.  This was from 1937 to 1940 and 1946 to 1951.


She was a proficient golfer on a low handicap representing the Hawera Golf Club and Taranaki over a period of years.  Kath was the Hawera Women's Champion for eight consecutive years and represented Taranaki in the Russell Grace Cup and the New Zealand foursomes.  She also played in the handicap foursomes and won the New Zealand Coronation Medal.  Miss O'Sullivan served for two terms as golf club president and was club captain for six years.


Kath's father, Mr "Jimmie" O'Sullivan had a long association with the Okaiawa Football Club.  He also represented Taranaki for some years and was a member of the 1905 All Black team.  Kath shared his interest in rugby and her close association with the Okaiawa club was acknowledged when she was made a life member.


Badminton was another interest, and she was a foundation member of the Hawera Badminton Club.  She also excelled at this sport and represented Taranaki on a number of occasions.  Her other interests included racing and bridge, both of which she followed closely.


Kathleen Mary O'Sullivan died at her sister's residence at Feilding on the 19 June 1978 and is buried at the Hawera cemetery.



Obituary "Hawera Star" 23 June 1978