NSW Waterski News

Vale Barbara Osborne

Posted on 9 January 2015

Vale Barbara Osborne

It is with extreme regret that the NSW Water Ski Federation announces the sad passing of Barbara Osborne. Barbara was a cherished wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Our deepest sympathy is sent to her husband Martin (Marty), children Vicki, Kim, Glen and Andrew, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Barbara and Marty shared over 50 wonderful years together. Their enduring, deep love for each other was the envy of many other couples. Marty and Barb created the company – Independent Boilers. While Marty worked tirelessly in the field Barb looked after the books and raised their young family. Up until her death, Barb was still co-ordinating the paperwork side of the business. Whenever recreational time arose, Marty and Barb would transport the family to their Hawkesbury River “shack” where all members of the family would ski from dawn to dusk. Their love of skiing resulted in the family joining the NSW Water Ski Association in the 1980s. The beloved family boat Smuggler joined the ski racing caravan travelling around Australia and returning home with many trophies and stories about numerous, hard-fought victories for Glen and Andrew. While the family competed in ski racing and Region V, Barbara became a judge and followed a path into sports administration. In the 1990s Barbara became Secretary of the NSWWWSA Ski Racing Division and in 2001 she became the inaugural Secretary of Ski Racing NSW. Also in the 1990s Barbara was elected Secretary of the NSW Water Ski Association and later Secretary of Region V. She served continuously in both roles until her death. Barbara also served as the Secretary and later as the President of the NSWWSA Water Ski Judges Association (WJA). On more than one occasion she was the recipient of the WJA Award of Merit.

In 1995 Barbara was honoured to be selected to represent Australia as a judge at the IWWF World Water Ski Racing Championships in Belgium. This appointment was met with great joy and some anxiety as Barb had not previously travelled on a plane. The thought of her first flight being a long-haul, overseas flight was quite daunting, especially when due to work commitments Marty could not travel with Barb. But June and Norm Griffin took her under their wing(s) and so began a new cherished pastime – travelling overseas.Barbara and Marty went on to travel around the world on numerous occasions with Hawaii becoming their “special place.”

Barbara made many lifelong friends in the international judging fraternity. In 2011 she was appointed Assistant Chief Judge for the 2011 IWWF World Water Ski Racing Championships at Moreton Bay. Then last year she was thrilled to be appointed to the position of Chief Judge for the 2015 IWWF World Water Ski Racing Championships in Wellington New Zealand. Throughout her recent health battle, Barbara’s focused on her preparations for the World Championships. Sadly, Barbara passed away before she could complete her judging dream but we all know that she will be there in New Zealand in the hearts of all officials and ski racers. She will be deeply missed but her contribution to the sport of water skiing will be long remembered.

Finally, Professor Leo Buscaglia once wrote:

Ancient Egyptians believed that upon death they would be asked two questions and their answers would determine whether they would continue the journey to the afterlife.

The first question was “Did you bring joy?”

The second was “Did you find joy?”

Barbara would be able to answer a loud, definite YES to both questions.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Marty, Barb’s family and her friends at this very difficult time.