It’s not very often do I get to combine my passion for history and swimming all at once but I was fortunate enough to stumble on the Presidential Report for the South Auckland Centre (Pre-cursor to Swimming Waikato) from 1943-44. It made me think about the hard work carried out by those volunteers who came before us,  the legacy that they left behind and our responsibility to carry the torch onwards

I was moved by a particular passage which I hope you can take the time to read; it relates to those serving in World War Two and the great sacrifices and struggles of those swimmers who were fighting far from home.

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is with pleasure that I present to you the report of the South Auckland Swimming Centre for the Season 1943-44.
On behalf of your Centre I desire to pay tribute to our gallant swimmers who have paid the supreme sacrifice in this struggle for right and liberty and wish to wish those who are overseas God-speed in their safe return.

Probably the greatest heart-burn that Executives of Clubs must suffer through the exigencies of war is to see those from intermediate ranks whom we have trained to a greater state of physical perfection taken away because of the greed and lust of a maniac. But it is with pride beyond all power of words to express that we review the deeds of our members who are serving in the Forces.

 

Darren Ward

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