Ocean Falls : a strong community!

DSC_0203There is no doubt that Ocean Falls is a very special community.  Although the physical community has changed over time, Ocean Falls remains active community of people that is incredibly proud of her history, not just in the swimmer world, but as a community in general. When I first set out on my journey of discovery I did not anticipate the number of people who would contact me from outside the swimming world to share their stories – stories which are a true testament to their commitment to their community.

Strong communities build strong people. Ocean Falls contribution to the swimming world is testament to just how powerful communities can be. Here’s another peek at some of the incredible swim champions that came out of the community (courtesy of Jack Kelso, “The History of Ocean Falls Amateur Swimming Club – 1926-1974”:

i-50555_142Lenora Fisher

Winner of the Beatrice Pines Trophy  for Canada’s Top Female Swimmer in 1953 Lenora was a gold medallist in the 100 meter backstroke and silver medalist in the 400 member Med. Relay at the 1955 Pan American Games. She was the Ladies Canadian Champion Backstroker, 1952-56 and earned herself a place on Canada’s National Team from 1952-56. Lenora became a member of the Canadian Aquatic Hall of Fame in 1980.

Allen Gilchrist

Allen was a member of Canada’s National Teams from 1948-1955. He was the Sir Edward Beatty Trophy Winner for Canada’s top Male Swimmer in 1949 and U.S. N.C.A.A. All American. Allen is a Canadian Aquatic Hall of Fame Member.

i-50554_142Ron Gilchrist

Ron was a U.S. Jr. College All-American in1956 and  received a U.S. Helms Athletic Foundation Award. From 1959 to 1966 he coached Prince Rupert A.S.C. and then from 1966 to 1969 Montreal’s A.A.A. squad.

Ron was a founding member of Canadian Swimming Coaches Association (1966) an the Canada National Coach New Zealand/South Africa Tour in 1968 .  In 1969 he founded the World Swimming Coaching Association Clinics  and is a founding member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

i-48874_142Ian Mackenzie

Ian was a member of the Canadian National Team from 1971 to 1974. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics he finaled in 2 events. Ian won the Molson Trophy in 1973 and won a bronze medal at the First Aquatic World Championships that same year.

Jim Portelance

A silver medalist in the British Empire Games in 1950, Jim was a U.S. N.C.A.A. All American. He was a member of Canadian National Teams in 1950 and 1954. Jim still swims today.

Richard Pound

Richard is both a Canadian Aquatic Hall of Fame Member and a Canadian Sports Hall of Fame Member. He was Montreal’s Amateur Athlete of the year in both 1960 and 1962. He participated in the British Empire & Commonwealth Games in 1962 where he won a gold medal in the 100 meter freestyle and was a finalist in two events at the Olympics. Richard was on the Canadian National team in 1959, 1960 and 1962. After retiring from swimming he served as President of the Canadian Olympic Association,   Board Member for the International Olympic Committee Executive and IOC New Sources of Financing Commission.

Like the swimmers from Ocean Falls, community is what I draw upon for strength with my MS and when swimming. Thank you to those who have swum before me and those who supported them for the incredible inspiration.

Posted by Susan with thanks to Jack Kelso for providing information via “The History of Ocean Falls Amateur Swimming Club – 1926-1974” and “Ocean Falls – Story of a Swimming Town“.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Linda says:

    Lenora still swims She married a Gilchrist-Ron – they swim at senior games each year. I was there in’55 with Lenora and spent a few very “memorable ” times !! With her.

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