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JANUARY2015THESWORD31OBITUARIESDAMEMARYGLENHAIGDBE8798-4APersonalRecollectionIhaveknownDameMaryrommyearliestdaysoencinginLondonwithSalleBostonbackinthesixtiesandseventieswhenDameMarywasverymuchaorceinBritishFencingalongsideCharlesdeBeaumont.HerOlympicprowessinthreeOlympicGameshadmadeheramuchreveredfgurewithinthenationssportingeliteandshewasaconstantateverynationalcompetitionthatIenteredwatchingandencouragingateverystage.InlateryearsasChairmanotheCombinedServicesFencingAssociationIwouldoteninvitehertotheRoyalTournamentinEarlsCourttomeettheyoungaspiringmilitaryencersshealwayslovedbeingapartotheglamourandceremonythatwentalongwithsuchmilitaryeventsandcouldalwaysbeoundjoininginwiththesomewhatraucouscelebrationsaterwardsintheFieldGunbarsHoweveritwasasamemberotheEpeeClubthatIcametoknowherbest.Upuntil994theEpeeClubhadbeenverymuchorGentlemenOnlybutintheprevious3yearstherehadbeenastrongmovementamongstthemembersledbyMalcolmFaretohavewomenadmitted.AttheAGMothatyearthemotiontoadmitladieswaspassed.ItwasimmediatelyproposedbytheCommitteeMemberspresenttoelectDameMarythemosteminentwomanamongstBritishFencersdespitebeingaoilistThusshebecameourfrstladymemberandwasgreetedwithgreatapplausebyallmemberswhensheattendedthefrstotheClubeventsintheollowingyear.FromthattimeonshewasaregularattendeeatallthecompetitionsheldattheHurlinghamClubtogetherwithherconstantcompanionJoycePearce.DameMarywouldwatchromthecomortoadeckchairdrinkingaPimmsandtakingakeeninterestintheopenaircombats.ShewouldotenbeaskedtopresentthecupstotheClubwinnerswhichshewoulddowithatwinkleinhereyeandanobliquereerencetohowCharlesdeBeaumonthimselamemberotheEpeeClubinthethirtiesandherselwerethefrsttousetheelectricalscoringapparatuswhichwasnowsuchanintegralpartomodernencing.DameMaryalsolovedattendingtheEpeClubAGMandDinners.ThesewereheldinLondonClubsduringthesummerandshealwayssparkledattheseblacktieeventsregalingthosearoundherwithtalesothemachinationssurroundinghertimewiththeIOCandthedaysotheAFA.HerlastappearanceattheClubwasin9whenaswelettheGarrickClubsheturnedtomeandsaidThiswassuchawonderuleveningsomanyriendsandsuchjollityIjustwishitwouldneverend.SodoweMary.Fencingwasoreverinherblood.ShewasanintegralpartingrowingthesporthereintheUnitedKingdomandwasapassionateadvocateorusoverseas.Withhersteelycharmandsharpwithonedoveralmost7yearsintheencingarenashepassedonherinectiousenthusiasmtoallwhomether.HerlegacyisthestrongresilientworldoBritishFencingthatweseetoday.LawrenceBurrOBEVicePresidentTheEpeeClubMaryGlenHaigwhohasdiedattheageo96wasthedaughteroCaptainWilliamJamesanocialatthe98OlympicGamesandounderothePolytechnicLadiesFencingClub.ShecompetedinourOlympicGames948-6coming8thin948.ShealsorepresentedGreatBritainatnineindividualandteamworldchampionshipscoming4thin9and6ththeollowingyear.SomeoherbestyearsasacompetitorwerelosttothewarbutwhenencingrestartedsheimmediatelybecameBritishjuniorchampionandin948wontheseniorchampionshipwinningitagainin9.Thenshewaseighttimesrunner-uptohergreatrivalGillianSheen.ShewasCommonwealthchampionin9and94twicewontheinternationalDeBeaumontCupandwontheSilverJubileeBowlthreetimes.Marywentontobecomeanoutstandingadministrator.PresidentotheLadiesAmateurFencingUnion964-73andotheAmateurFencingAssociation973-86shewasalsoChairmanotheCentralCounciloPhysicalRecreationduringthe97sandPresidentotheBritishSportsAssociationortheDisabledrom98to99.In98shebecamethefrstemalememberotheInternationalOlympicCommitteeIOCandservedoryears.ForservicestoencingshewasappointedaMemberotheOrderotheBritishEmpireMBEin97orservicestosportingeneralshewaspromotedtoCommanderCBEin977andwasmadeaDameDBEin993.In994shebecameanhonorarymemberotheIOCandwasmadeaMembredHonneurotheFIEin999.M.FHerOlympicprowessinthreeOlympicGameshadmadeheramuchreveredfgurewithinthenationssportingeliteandshewasaconstantateverynationalcompetitionthatIenteredwatchingandencouragingateverystage.