Gosford Diggers have been diving in for 42 years
ON SUNDAY, October 26, 1975, at the Gosford Olympic Pool, a number of Second World War diggers and returned Vietnam veterans from around the Gosford area met to form the Gosford District Diggers Swimming Club.
Those present at the meeting were Denis Allen, Ben Barnett, Trevor Blay, Bert Bull, Syd Gibson, Don Gover, Bill Hunter, Dugald MacColl, Gordon Martin, Ralph Mortimer, Larry O'Haiher, Neil Roff, Philip Tremethick and Ron Wilson.
Unfortunately none of these members are still alive in 2017.
At this meeting Syd Gibson put the motion that the Gosford District Diggers Swimming Club be formed. This motion was seconded by Doug McCall. The club's first office bearers were president Neil Roff, secretary/treasurer Ron Wilson, club captain Bill Hunter and the handicappers were Don Gover and Phil Tremethick.
The club held its first swim on Sunday, November 16, 1975. The Gosford District Diggers Swimming Club affiliated with the Gosford RSL in 1978, and are now called the Gosford RSL Diggers Swimming Club.
The Gosford District Diggers Swimming Club foundation members also made sure the club was affiliated with the AIF Swimming Association of Australia.
The foundation members were Stuart Adair, Allen Allard, Chris Armstrong, Les Arndell, Graeme Baker, Paul Bezrouchko, Phil Bible, Keith Brooks, Ken Butt, Bruce Cowley, Peter Dann, Barry Davidson, Doug Flaherty, Athol Frewin, Bob Godding, Brian Gregory, Ross Grond, Bob Gunn, Geoff Grinter, Terry Henstock, Jim Hurley, Peter Martin, Pat Matthews, Ken Mathieson, John McQueen, Bob Potts, Ed Semmens, Bruce Tilley, Ron Tuddenham, Brian Walshe and Stan Willis.
Sadly only four of these members - Peter Dann, Jim Hurley, John McQueen and Ed Semmens - are still with us. John and Ed are still swimming with the best of us.
From that Sunday and every Sunday for the past 42 years, the tradition continues. From 8.30-10am we compete over 100m, 50m and 30m events plus relays. It's on for young and old.
We swim for fitness, fun, friendship and competition. Every swimmer is given a handicap time for each of the events, which ensures that on their day anyone can be a winner.
After the day's events are completed, the swimmers get together for refreshments and a yarn.
Each year we take part in the AIF carnivals and regular swimming meets with AIF and RSL swimming clubs from across New South Wales. They are great fun and always worth travelling all over the state to attend. Recent events have been held in Albury, Cobar, Castle Hill, Forbes, Nelson Bay, Port Stephens, Seven Hills, The Entrance and Tuggerah.
In November 2015 we held the Five Ways Carnival at the Gosford Olympic Pool, where five AIF clubs - Cobar, Gosford, Forbes, Malabar and Nelson Bay - competed.
A photo taken of the Gosford team from the event included Noel Radburn, John McQueen, Jon Stevens, Peter Gould, Don Miller, Chris Durbridge, Dave Ferrington, Peter Ray, John Sherrington, Paul Munns, Cliff Deane and Rob Lewis.
The Gosford RSL Diggers Swimming Club is always looking for more swimmers to join in each Sunday. Phone Rob Lewis on 0412443053 or Paul Nixon 0407007340 to find out more.