Bob McCreddin, former President of the Orienteering Federation of Australia, died peacefully at his home on June 3rd after a long illness. He was 66.
Born and raised in Perth, Bob was initially a teacher of mathematics in secondary schools before becoming a District Director and then Director of Curriculum in the Education Department of Western Australia. This was followed by five years as a senior education consultant with the Association of Independent Schools. In the early 1970s he was Secretary and in 1982/3 President of the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers.
Bob started orienteering in the 1980s, after he had been persuaded to use his expertise with youngsters to organise a camp for juniors and rapidly became involved in all aspects of the sport.
In the early 1990’s, he initiated and conducted Junior Training days and inaugurated the WA State Schools Orienteering Team, being its manager the first time it was able to travel.
His leadership and administrative skills came to the fore during his time as President of OAWA (1994 –1998) and under his stewardship, the Association secured government funding for a Sports Development Officer, its first paid position. As President he recognised the importance of listening to members and conducted ‘think tanks’ which helped guide the future direction of orienteering in the West. He also organised the funding and construction of a shed for OAWA’s vehicles, equipment and maps, not surprisingly on the grounds of a school.
His success as Carnival Organiser for the Australian 3-day series in 2003 established his reputation beyond the State and he was subsequently elected President of the then Orienteering Federation of Australia in 2004, a position he held until ill health forced him to step down late in 2005 and eventually prevented him from competing in events. Despite this setback he retained a strong enthusiasm for the sport and in 2005 became the first editor of WA’s weekly e-News, a role he held for over four years.
In Bob’s nomination for Life Membership of OAWA in 2006, it was noted that he had been responsible for significant improvements and changes within the sport but had always been modest about his achievements. As State President, he initiated a Quiet Achiever Award and many feel he himself would have been the most suitable recipient of that.
Many of us have lost a good friend and wise counsellor but our sympathies are particularly with Julie and the family.
Ken and Carol Brownlie