Beaumont, John & Wilson, June Interview (Havelock North Swimming Club)

Today is the 19th May 2016. I’m interviewing two past members and stalwarts of the Havelock North Swimming Club from as far back as we can remember until today. Now John Beaumont will start and then June Wilson will join in, and at the end of it I believe we’ll have some pretty interesting stories. So John, would you like to start off?

Well, my first memory of the swimming pool which was a big thing in our lives because my family just lived across the domain in the house just beside the domain, and we were very handy to the swimming pool. The swimming pool was just a pool with a [an] eight foot diving well, high diving board and a small – what they now would say – a one metre board. At the end of the pool, from the shallow end of the pool there was a little toddlers’ pool that went the whole width of the pool and was about two metres wide I’d imagine.

When I started school at five years old we used to go up in the summer like they do now, and classes used to go and we’d play around and they’d try to teach us to swim. That progressed like that … very similar. The dressing sheds were rather primitive. They ran right along one side of the pool, and there was a grandstand running on the other side of the pool. And it used to be quite primitive in it, but it was serviceable.

My first introduction was at about eight years of age when I started going up with my two sisters who were in the Swimming Club, Betty and Eva, and go up there and go to their Club nights. I started off dog paddling across the width of the pool like everyone else did, and then progressed over time.

In the Havelock Club at that time the administrators as I remember was [were] Harold Christie, Peter Foote and Doug Eade who was a diver, and … I just need more time to think about the others, but the Club was very well organised. They used to have a Club night on a Monday. There was no filtration in those days and by the time we got to Monday – because they used to fill the pool on Wednesday – by the time it got to Monday the water was quite green. To stand on the diving board and look down at this green used to be quite awesome.

The Swimming Club officials – they’d be there every Monday night organising the races and it used to be quite an exciting time because there was very little else going on at night time in Havelock. In different times people were able to walk … all our sisters and people used to be able to walk home at half past nine at night, no trouble at all. No one ever thought that they were in any danger.

If we could pause for a second John … you must have heard how the Swimming Club started. Did you hear how they dug the hole? I know it was dug by horse scoops, I know the Donnellys had something to do with it. Can you …

No, I was more advanced than that and I can’t truthfully say that but I remember how all the work was done on the one that was built later alongside of that pool. That was built by the Harris’s with a lot of voluntary help and the Swimming Club was very prominent in the raising of the money. They used to run sweeps on rugby matches and that brought in enough money to help with the pool. But going back to the Carnivals, it used to be amazing – my Mum who had a sore knee, used to have to leave early to walk about two or three hundred metres across the domain to get to the swim meet, because if she wasn’t there by quarter past seven then there’d be no seat there for her. It would be full with people, that whole grandstand.

When you look back the grandstand probably seemed quite big those days, but in fact it wasn’t a big grandstand and we didn’t have trouble filling it.

No. And the other thing is you’ve got to remember there was no TV – it was the days before TV and there was very little social activity in Havelock I should imagine. But it was quite a thrilling Monday evening. I was sitting up in the baths one Sunday afternoon with a Primary School teacher, Bill Pankhurst, and we were sitting there … Bill had been swimming and I’d been swimming, and we just were talking while we were sunbathing, and right down over the top of the pool the lights were all suspended across the pool. And this big earthquake came and shook the building and the lights went down and electrified the water – all the sparks came off the water. And there were only a very small number of people in the pool – everyone was all right. So it was a terrifying experience.

Yes, and also while I’m thinking about it, the custodians when I first started were the Meade family, and then I think it was Stella Marshall, one of the Marshall girls. And they used to have a little box up in the observation place. [Someone sneezes in background]

Well that was the entrance to the pool those days wasn’t it – straight off the road? Did they sell some soft drinks and stuff like that in the shop?

Not in the early days – they did in the later days.

June, you might like to start talking about your association with the pool.

June: I started in the … be in the 1970s when the Club was really strong. It was only a B grade Club, but they had the local Clubs in Hawke’s Bay – Te Awa, Clive, Heretaunga, Mahora and Havelock North. We used to have what they called the Rainbow Shield, and it was a Shield that was swum for over I think three meetings. They used to be big affairs. And there was the Chocolate Carnival which was always Boxing Day, and they used to be big affairs and everything was hand-recorded, and there were runners running up to the office, and there were really large numbers then. So I joined in there.

So did you join as a swimmer?

No I joined as a family and when they realised I had already taught swimming at the Napier Swimming Club I was asked if I would help with the ‘Learn to Swim’ there. So I started teaching ‘Learn to Swim’ and it was very much of a family … everything was all family orientated. Mum, Dad, Nana, Granddad … quite a few generations would be there to help.

Yes, well I know just looking back, the whole village … it was very much a brilliant village centre, wasn’t it?

John: It was.

June: It certainly was.

John: Well, I went with my interest in other things. I always remained a member of the Swimming Club from the time I was eight, and I was a competitive swimmer until I was about fifteen – not a very good one because I was too interested in other things. But during that time Peter Foote and Harold Christie got me to go along and help with the ‘Learn to Swim’ at the pool which I did, and it was just concentrated on one or two times a week, you know. I went along there, and then Peter Foote started coaching me. And at the same time you know, being the Scoutmaster, I’d had a bit of experience organising people, and all of a sudden they asked if I would do a training group. So I took a training group, and I trained them just like I was being trained at rugby, without a lot of finesse, but made them work and there used to be a lot of complaints because we would start in the mornings in the cold water. And you know, there was a lot of complaints about what I was doing but very quickly I found that I had one of the … in fact for a short period … the best under fifteen boy swimmer in New Zealand, Johnny Palmer, and Ricky Lowe, a backstroker. And of course that set me on coaching there, and the Swimming Club was very good. We used to go … for years, we had a bus trip from Havelock to Gisborne where we swam against a Gisborne Club, and they’d come down the following year. And I just can’t remember the name – it might have been Olympic Swimming Club from Gisborne. And that used to be something we all looked forward to, I mean a bus trip to Gisborne took quite some time in those days. June was talking about the Rainbow Shield – that was a very, very successful competition that went for so many years … so many years.

Every suburb had its swimming pool didn’t they?

And eventually Havelock Council, for a centenary thing, they built the other pool. And Harris got the contract and they dug out the side of the hill there and built that concrete slab tilt-up pool. And when it opened the Council asked me if I would like to be caretaker and I could coach there, and so that’s what we did.

So about what date roughly would that be?

Can you remember the date? When did I go looking after the pool as custodian. It was when Peter Fields was Town Clerk.

June: The sixties probably.

John: I think it would be the late sixties.

So you carried on and you started your professional coaching at that point?

Yeah. I was working as a carpenter, and I used to work in the winter carpentering for a local guy, and then coach during the summer. But in those days earning money from a sport was frowned on greatly.

Well it was certainly very convenient because you weren’t more than three hundred yards from home to work.

[Chuckle] Yeah, yes. Well when I was at the pool I was working for Ernie Wiggins. And then after doing that for about three years, that’s when I realised I couldn’t make a successful business with a cold pool, and that’s when we decided to build the pool down there. I was made a life member of the Swimming Club, and I think I still am. And you know, we always at that stage had Havelock kids coming to us and competing for Havelock. Then we formed the Trojan Swimming Club to overcome this problem with professionalism.

And so then even though your swimmers still came back to swim at the pool, you lost your association with the Havelock Club.


Okay. And June this really moves into your era. There was water polo during the earlier years.

John: Oh yes – I’m sorry June. The Christies and them – that’s the reason they came back after the War, and they all played water polo. And boy, it was a serious game.

Was it ever! And it used to be between Clubs too, wasn’t it?

Yeah, Inter-club.

Okay June. Now we’ll hear what happened in the seventies when you …

June: In the seventies. Well, when I had joined up with the family with this Swimming Club, by then there were new regulations with the boards, and the boards were taken away because they didn’t meet the regulations. But they never took away the pool, but they had no board for it.

That’s interesting … they were good enough for all those years. In the summer our divers were big people.

John: Yes, well it was dangerous.

June: And I was involved with the Club, and part of my job apart from teaching the ‘Learn to Swim’ and helping with the Mercantile relay, and that was another community thing. There was Wattie’s, there was the Police Force …

John: Yeah, that was good.

June: And four in a team made the relay team, and some could hardly swim but they had a lot of fun trying. And as the years went by it got more and more competitive. And then they decided to ask the schools and the factory workers – there was Wattie’s involved and it was a really good night, and all the family support would go down. That was held once a year and as I said, that was another big community thing which was including Hastings in there as well.

Did you teach lifesaving as well at the pool?

No, because at that stage it was very separated. What was coming … the Rainbow Shield as it was going on … I put down that the last time Havelock won it was 1979, and they seemed to go right through for a few years. But then Clubs were folding up – the B Grade Clubs not any A Grade and Clive decided to fold. Te Awa was having problem having to pay fees for Rainbow Shield, so … ’cause at that stage you had to pay money to the Hawke’s Bay-Poverty Bay ’cause you were affiliated with them. So Havelock always had a soft touch and would offer to have the carnivals at Havelock pool and just abolish the fees. And as time went on … more when the Trusts were formed … Mahora folded, and so Hastings West folded. Slowly but surely they were all just losing … swimming for … there was other alternate things, not just rugby for the winter and soccer …

So you think that’s why these pools closed – lack of interest from families to go there?

I think now other interests, but they were still getting more competitive and we always found … we were a B Grade Club, and we always wanted to push swimming further and we would always suggest they go and join John’s ’cause of the coaching, and they entered the top grade East Coast champs and all the top grade, where we were just getting into more family fun.

John:  I think it was a sign of the times – I mean professionalism came in but that wasn’t the only reason. I mean everybody was trying to make a buck, even the Council were charging you know, the professionals for use of the lanes. Yeah. But it was a big change … big change. The change was social. I mean you know, this is in the days of TV starting off, and it all started.

But I mean Havelock Swimming Club ran the Hawke’s Bay-Poverty Bay swimming champs out at Havelock, and honestly, the whole domain was jam packed with cars all right down to the village. And that went on for four days. And it was amazing, and they did a really good job. So they’ve had a big input into Havelock society.

Another little side thing, on a Sunday – and I mentioned this I think when we were talking before – after the pool closed, all the kids would go down the park and play cricket. The girls would all be there … scrag rugby … and I mean there would be twenty, thirty people always there, going down.

Well it was a social centre for young people wasn’t it, the pool?

Just going back to the start again, in the earthquake – when you came through the door on the swimming pool, on the left hand side … on the Havelock side … was where the dressing sheds were, and the grandstand was on the other side. And the pavilion was built later on, but in my Dad’s diary, in the earthquake the whole of the wall of the dressing sheds fell out in the earthquake, and they all went up and fixed it all up. I don’t know whether it was in use or not, but …

Because that was the back wall of the changing …

Well, there used to be a big pine tree, and one night I was walking out of the pool with Jock Pollock, he was the President of the Club, we’d just locked up and all of a sudden all these pine cones rained down on us from up in this tree. And in those days it wasn’t the Mongrel Mob, it was a group of bikies. Their bikes were all parked outside there and they were up the tree. [Chuckle] It’s something I just thought about. [Chuckle]

You carried on as a coach for quite a long period.

June: For quite a long period, and then when the children reached teenage years and this and that … heading off to University I pulled away from the Club a little bit to let others take over. Things were changing and a lot of the Cups that we swum for we retired, because there were lots of things – like there was no more diving, and there were Cups donated for special things, so they were just retired into the cabinets. And Valda Mayo was patron and life member for many a long years and I still remember her in the office. And everything was recorded manually, not on the computer – there’d be runners – the kids got pretty tired of it quick, running up the steps. And she’d record everything by hand.

Now the Mayo family – who were they?

John: The Mayos – no, they were a Hastings family, and they had come to join Havelock Swimming Club. There was Vivienne, and she went on and did teaching in Wellington, and Chris, and one more I think.

Jean: Diane.

But there some other notable families too – you mentioned some – they’ve had a big association over the years haven’t they?

John: Not as much as some of them. Colin Palmer was there for some time, and Peter Foote the dentist – he was Secretary for some time. And then we had a man who was a car salesman and he lived down Napier Road. Name’s just gone. He was really funny – he was an enthusiast, but he had one of those sleep disorders where he’d drop off. [Chuckle] And he’d come to the meetings in the pavilion and you’d be talking about one thing then all of a sudden he’d move a motion and it was totally [chuckle] different. And then … he’d talked himself into getting the job as the announcer, and in all those days the races were handicap races, so you know, if you went at ten, you had ten taken off your final time to give you your real time, but he couldn’t keep up sometimes, and he used to say …”and there’s Joe Brown … Smith … so and so, and the time for this event is … quarter past nine.” [Laughter] He couldn’t work it out, and the crowd always used to wait for it.

There used to be some girls that were quite good swimmers too. Lloma Wise?

Oh yes, Lloma Wise, yes – she was an excellent swimmer.

I guess those days the village probably only had fifteen hundred – two thousand people, so everyone knew everybody.

Yes, I wish I’d spent a bit more time thinking of the old swimmers’ names, because there were some really good ones.

June: As time went on, in 1995 there was Colin Shanley, Harry Romanes – this is to do with the pavilion where the Swimming Club was based, and Colin had been to see if he’d save the pavilion. Meanwhile – I think the Trust was running the pool by then – and I was elected on to the little sub-committee with Harry Romanes and Colin Shanley. But it’s Colin Shanley’s heart that went into … the roof was leaking, and there was a lot of dry rot, and though the pavilion had been maintained by the Swimming Club … but as time went by there was less and less builders and more people wanting to do stuff for money. But Colin Shanley and Harry Romanes and … forget the builder – George Stanley I think his name was.

John: George Stanley.

June: And there were certain other builders, and there was no time schedule … that Colin and Harry out of the goodness of their hearts, put money from their own pockets in because the passion was so great to save the pavilion. And they just plodded along with it over the years, and there was a lot of hidden shadows wasn’t there, John? In the community.

John: Yeah, well Colin Shanley was a good swimmer too, and he swam right through and then took on administration. Yeah, him … and all those names you mentioned … they were stalwarts of the Club. But over all the time that I’ve been involved in it, and any other Club, you have those stalwarts in every Club. Somebody always steps forward.

The old pavilion was my classroom for the Havelock Primary School for two years. So I knew it very well.

June: But in 2003 when the swimmers were slowly dropping off, and there weren’t the B Grade clubs to swim with, Valda was on the Hawke’s Bay-Poverty Bay committee, and then Havelock was going to be one of the last B Grade Clubs where they pulled away from the Hawke’s Bay-Poverty Bay. When I say that I mean they weren’t paying any more affiliation fees and that’s quite a hard case. Bert Cotterill – he kicked up about it, but you wouldn’t believe it, he was my old coach when I grew up in Napier. So it’s funny how with the swimming world people go by, and then all of a sudden they pop up.

I remember when I was put through a course to do … even though I could teach ‘Learn to Swim’ but you didn’t need Certificates in those days … and I was sent along by the Havelock Swimming Club over to the Onekawa pools, and there was a coach there called Doreen Scullen. Anyway she made us get in like kids – we had to be the pupils, and the men had to stay in longer ’cause they made the kids stay in longer. Well lo and behold – another one – I was brought up in Napier and I was born on the very same day as her daughter Raewyn was born, so it’s funny – like Bert Cotterill, Doreen Scullen – and how life all comes back, and I’m sure it’s the swimming world that does that.

It happens in all Clubs.

John: I think so.

That pavilion was a real social point for us and our group of you know, young married people. The rugby club used to have their monthly thing up there and we would all take a flagon and the girls would take a plate and the fire would be going in the winter and it used to be great.

That’s all you needed.

Yeah, and I just think it’s a travesty that they are going to shift it.

Yes, someone has had a rush of blood to the head. But yes, there must be many stories. You know, it’s been there a while now – I think it was built in 1938.

Yeah. They used to have the tennis courts alongside there and in summer we … oh, Stuart Tunnicliffe who was a swimmer too and Bob Prater and Don Grooby, John Smiley … we decided after playing tennis – which we weren’t supposed to be on the courts because we weren’t members – at night we could go for a swim. It was easy to climb over the fence, [chuckle] so it was dark obviously, and we were all in the nud [nude] and we went over the fence, and we were having a bit of fun and all of a sudden the lights went on. And old Bill Ashcroft who was a member of the Anglican church – he’d walk up to the church and walk down again, you know, to his honey house, and he was also on the Council – and he turned these lights on. Well – we all disappeared in the nud, and luckily we had enough brains to leave our clothes outside. Fraser and I and somebody else finished down by the Presbyterian church, but there was one missing, Don Grooby, [chuckle] and he had the presence of mind – because the baths had rails down each side – and he got into the corner of the diving well, and he just bobbed under the water. [Chuckle] No one caught us though.

And Bill wouldn’t have seen the funny side of it.

No he wouldn’t have, no.

Just going back to … this is still happening at night. I’m part of this community patrol where you go out from midnight ’til four in the morning, and we’ve had to get the Police to go down and remove swimmers at two in the morning over the fence and you can hear the laughter and hear the splashing. The problem is you know, they’re probably just having a bit of fun, but you can’t leave them there ’cause they might drown.

Jean: Someone did at one … when the cover was on.

John: They used to have a flag pole up there in the swimming pool, and one day we all got to the swimming and all these underclothes [chuckle] are up the flag pole. [Chuckle] And I don’t know the sequel of it – I don’t know how it started, but Shirley Meads stole her husband-to-be Tony Burridge’s clothes – they’d had a fall-out, and while he was having a swim [chuckle] she’d put his underclothes …

Up the pole.

Yeah. It wasn’t all lully-dully.

June: No.

Jean: John you had a story about the presentation of the Cups that was a funny story.

John: What was that one?

Jean: When you were working out who was going to receive the Cups.

John: Oh yes. That was funny. I was actually working at our pool and I was still in the Swimming Club and being active. Colin Palmer was the Secretary and Bill … oh, can’t think … he was the Treasurer. And we had to award the trophies, but something happened that the previous Treasurer whose job it was, had kept no points of the races over the years. And I didn’t know this. Anyway I got a ring – would I go up to Bill Fletcher’s house which was just up from the pool in Napier Road. Colin was there. When I got there about nine o’clock they were fairly well tanked. [Chuckle] “What are we going to do about these things?” Oh, Colin came up, or somebody came up with the idea … so they opened up all the members, and there’s a lot of trophies in the Havelock Swimming Club even in those days, and away we went … so “oh, Frank Cooper – yeah well, he can have that for the most improved.” [Chuckle] And we went through like this, and we gave all these out and just about everybody in the room on Presentation got a trophy, [chuckle] and it was the most successful trophy night you could imagine. No, everybody got something, and they couldn’t believe it, and [chuckle] neither could I after I … I mean I could see, because I was sober when I got there – I’d been down at our pool – I could see it was going to be chaos. I was sure that we’d give two prizes to the one guy … oh, what a performance.

So you didn’t bother recording any points from then onwards.

No. [Laughter] No, gee, it was terrible.

Yes you’ve certainly got an awful lot of trophies there. But we’re going to take them all and photograph them so we’ve got a record of who they came from.

June: No … I do believe a few of the trophies … Neville Robson is quite happy … I think it was discussed for them to go to the Havelock Primary School, some of the trophies, ’cause there’s a lot in that cabinet that’s not swum for. But I remember one time I think Fiona Baker was the … she was the Treasurer or Secretary and she got a call – there was all these Cups in the dive well and … how long they’d been there, but some person had broken into the Clubrooms. And the cups were to go back into the cabinets but nobody was really quite organised for it, and they all ended up in the dive pool. But Fiona started polishing with the good old Brasso or the Silver, and they must have been made well in those days because the chlorine didn’t really do much damage – it was only the plastic.

Jean: So what happened to the Rainbow Shield? Is it around?

June: Still sitting in the cabinet. I do believe when … now the Rainbow Shield … the last time, I think it was really in round about 2000, ’cause there wasn’t the Clubs to swim for it any more, and we got a few of the Cups from the other B Grade Clubs that Havelock didn’t really want. But if anything was to happen to Havelock North Swimming Club, I think in the Constitution they go back to Hawke’s Bay-Poverty Bay.

John: They’d have to, yeah.

June: But the Rainbow Shield still sits in the cabinet.

That’s why we thought it was quite important that we photograph each Cup and the Rainbow Shield.

John: I don’t think we mentioned Fred Hayward, now he was a stalwart for some time – I think he was the President – I’m not sure. He did a lot of fund raising by running weekly raffles for the new pool. He spent a lot of time there. I’m trying to think of other people.

At some stage or other we’ll need to get some of you along because the photos didn’t have names on a lot of them, so we’ll need to get you to have a look at that. You’ve still got some time in the Club yet you haven’t told us about.

June: Okay, so in 1992 I had quite a bit to do with the Swimming Club really, because through Russell Collins and a few of them, they decided the pool … the Council were going to close it. They didn’t want to do the maintenance on it and I don’t think we had councillors that really knew about swimming. At that stage Flaxmere was thriving, so there was a Trust formed, and that was all people from the community and a representative – one from the schools and one from the Trojan Masters Swimming Club – and they decided to run the pool. But because they were a registered … because I was on it representing not Havelock Swimming Club, I represented Trojan Masters Swimming. And as a Village Pool Trust they couldn’t apply for grants, and they wanted to do … a lot of stuff round the pool had been let go, and so the Havelock Swimming Club had donated a little bit of money. And I think it was in 2002 or ’03 the pool was chlorine heated, and going back in records that had a lot to do with the Swimming Club who were the back up. They owned the minute clock which was all community, and the sound system which they didn’t use any more, and they were a real backbone behind the pool. If it wasn’t for the people … Russell Collins was in the Swimming Club, he was President for many a year, and he was just one of these very ‘get up and go’ people. But if you look back in the years that I was involved in there, there was [were] raffles, and selling sausages and fizzy drinks, and now everything’s so different. They just apply for Trusts. And I do believe, and it was before my time, they used to have quite a big Housie night …

John: That’s right.

… that was run by the Swimming Club.

And that would be run in the pavilion?

I used to run it over here at the Rugby Club. Well it’s different days, different times, isn’t it?

So 2002 was when it was heated and upgraded, and so how has it been going since then?

June: Well they’re still quite strong, Havelock Swimming Club. There’s that little niche where these kids don’t want to go to be competitive but with all the water safety and everything that goes on, they just want to learn to swim, keep fit, and it’s lovely to see their Mum and Dad maybe swimming. And if we ever do have a good swimmer it was always stated the money raised – before my time, which is a little bit of bulk of the Club – used to go to a good swimmer. If somebody was really struggling that was associated with the community, that money was always to help that … whether it be a swimmer or swimmers. But now it’s just a lot of fun. Oh, they still have set programmes and we don’t have any carnival night now. They just swim for the Cups, and I noticed when I was there they were swimming for the Cups but they knew when they were going to be away, so it wasn’t really fair that they’d turn up maybe two or three times would never swim against each other. This is where you needed to guide the young ones and say “No – they need to swim against each other to be competitive, to time them for the cups.” But the kids are a bit more cunning these days than us. [Chuckle]

And so the Club’s still quite strong, still working well.

Still very strong and very … as I said, there’s that little niche in the market for a Club that’s not competitive.

John: What numbers are they?

June: I think we would be, over the last few years, nothing less than a hundred-odd swimmers in the pool. There would be two coaches in the ‘Learn to Swim’. And it was quite good – I used to like to try to get the teenagers so I could maybe now put a little bit of my knowledge over to them which they seem to enjoy, teaching ‘Learn to Swim’. Then in the big pool you had Barry Coleman, Pam Lowe, another one from Waimarama Surf Club. And so you had three or four coaches, but we had half hour sessions because the numbers were so great. But it was always … I tried to tell the Swimming Club, a few of them were getting a bit – about the numbers. I said “Remember we’re not a swimming school, we’re a swimming club and there always was numbers.” Lots of numbers in the lanes – you never ever would … when I was swimming for Napier Swimming Club you’d never be one in a lane, there would be just so many …

It’s a great thing to have in a club isn’t it – to have many people in a lane? So are you still active or have you retired?

I had retired, and I was made patron of the Club when Valda died. And I go down there to the nights, and the Presentations, and the opening nights, and just sit in and watch some of the ‘Learn to Swim’ but I have been voluntary helping – like Havelock Play Centre got granted some money from some Trust. They went down to John’s old pool and they didn’t know what to do with their children. And so I volunteered my time, and it’s almost like when they come in as Under Four year olds, or whatever age. They don’t know really how to play with their children any more. It’s okay if you’re a bit sloppy or something in the pool. But that’s what I do now. I don’t really have much to do with swimming. It’s just nice to be involved ’cause they’re like a happy family at times.

So can either of you think of any other high spots that you may have forgotten about? We haven’t got a photo of you as patron.

June: Oh, haven’t you? ‘Cause I was only made patron last year, ’cause apparently Barry asked me about this Hawke’s Bay-Poverty Bay … I wore my blazer for the photo, and I said – no, that had nothing to do with the Life Member because we’re not affiliated with Hawke’s Bay-Poverty Bay. But I said “when I got this”, I said “it was an award, and it was really for – Hawke’s Bay-Poverty Bay thanked me for my contribution to swimming.” And that was from ‘Learn to Swim’ and helping with the Mercantile Relay and the Rainbow Shield. But everybody helped, I wasn’t the only one.

Well that’s good. It’s like a lot of clubs, made up of dozens of families and people. It was the fun that people had wasn’t it?  So if you think we may have covered it all then we’ll call it a day.

John: Most probably tonight I’ll remember a lot of things.

If you remember anything that’s really notable I can always come back. So if that’s it then I’ll say thank you very much, June and John.

You’re welcome.

This is about when the carnival was over, and the hot milo. Would you like to talk about that?

Well, I think that’s why some of them [chuckle] came to the Swimming Club – to get their hot milo and a biscuit. And the fact that everyone got it was wonderful, and the kids used to really enjoy it, and the coaches enjoyed it, and our visitors used to enjoy it, ’cause no one else did it that we knew of. Yeah – and it used to be good social activity.

June: I just said to John that most probably the same cups and the same plastic ones the kids had and the heavier ones for the adults.

Well it was like the cocoa we used to have at school. They seemed to be able to make it that it tasted better there than it ever tasted, probably because it was cold.

John: It’s just like getting a free drink, isn’t it? [Chuckle]

It is.

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Interviewer:  Frank Cooper

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