Obituary – John Mudie

John Alexander Mudie, who was involved in horse racing for some 40 years as a TAB agent and secretary of the Oamaru, Kurow and Waikouaiti harness racing clubs, died on Friday night (May 29, 2020). He was 76.

“Dad was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer five weeks ago. It was a shock because apart from his balance – co-ordination issue (Ataxia) he was actually quite healthy – not even on any medication,” said his daughter Jemma Barltrop.

John died at his home in Waldronville (near Dunedin), surrounded by family members. He lived there in recent years with his daughter.

John was born in Dunedin and began work for National Insurance. He later worked in the office machinery industry before returning to National Insurance as a computer programmer, working with one of the few Main-frame computers at that time.

He was always keen on horse racing and took a job with the Totalisator Agency Board in Dunedin in 1968. Five years later he became an agent for the TAB in Cromwell.

He transferred to a larger agency in Oamaru (17 windows) in 1975. He held the position for 20 years before deciding to return to Dunedin with his wife, Alison in 1995.

Alison died in 2015. He took the job as secretary of the Oamaru Harness Racing Club in 1994 and continued until 2016 when he eased down to allow his daughter to take over. He was also secretary of the Waikouaiti and Kurow harness racing clubs and Eastern Districts Picnic club, the Island Park Golf Club and did part-time work for the Forbury Park Club. He received an award for significant contribution at the Otago harness awards function in 2014.

“He was one of the most ‘savvy” racing secretaries this country has seen. He was so thorough and passionate about the industry. The Oamaru, Waikouaiti and Kurow clubs were very fortunate to have a man of his caliber as secretary,’’ said David Heffernan, the president of the Oamaru Club.

A private memorial service will be held for John.

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