Perth had not seen more than a speck of rain for almost 4 months, so to plan a swim and a barbeque in the middle of March, to see off the Doug Poake Pool in style - should not have been a problem. On the day however, the sky was black, clouds banged against one another, lightning flashed and the phone rang hot all day asking if the Very Last Swim event for the Hale School pool would go ahead.
The answer of course was, yes. It had to. It was the absolutely last chance anyone would have to farewell the old pool before the demolition crew moved in the next day.
Doug Poake himself was hesitant about braving the elements to fulfil his role as the official race starter. He is after all 90 years of age. He is so glad he did. He wouldn’t have missed it for the world. We watched the smile on his face just get bigger and bigger and bigger.
To say we were all working under duress is an understatement, but would it have been such a great farewell if the sun had been shining and the barbeques had not been sitting in something resembling a small river? I don’t think so. The Gods obviously were a bit peeved that the pool had to go – but people will talk about that night with a laugh in their voice for some years to come.
Thank you to Doug for officiating for one last time, to Roger Gray for MCing, to everyone who embraced the idea of one last swim despite the weather and especially to the School Swim Team – who picked up on the vibe of the night and won the PSA Swimming Championships for the first time in 10 years.
Photos from the day can be viewed here - The Last Swim . . . and check out the action below!