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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (20 June) . . Page.. 2135 ..

Wednesday, 20 June 2001

MR SPEAKER (Mr Cornwell) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Death of Mr Terry Gathercole AM

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Attorney-General): I move:

That this Assembly expresses its deep regret at the death of former swimming champion and coach and President of Australian Swimming, Mr Terry Gathercole AM.

Mr Speaker, it is with much sadness that the swimming world and the community in general learned of the death of Terry Gathercole in Canberra on 30 May of this year. Terry was born at Tallimba, New South Wales, on 25 November 1935. He had a long list of achievements, including Olympic swimming champion, Olympic swimming coach and President of Australian Swimming. One of Terry's most passionate arguments was about keeping drugs out of sport. It was his dedication as an anti-drugs campaigner that kept the sport of swimming so clean in Australia.

Terry's long swimming career started in West Wyalong and had many influences. Ironically, his father was a master plumber and worked on the construction of the local swimming pool. His father was also a foundation member of the West Wyalong swimming club and served as a committee member and president for 21 years. Terry's first competition was in the five years of age and under wading race and, as the season progressed, he joined the swimming competitions in the main pool. He continued to compete in swimming carnivals across western New South Wales, with one of the highlights being the New South Wales country championships in 1952, which were held in his home town.

Terry Gathercole could be described as a self-taught swimmer. He lived in the country, where there was no coaching expertise, but that did not stop him from representing Australia. He was the Australian 100 and 200 metres and 110 and 220 yards breaststroke champion from 1954 to 1960. He was a passionate believer in the art of breaststroke swimming and used to have a lovely way of knocking the other disciplines of swimming, something for which he was fondly remembered at a memorial service for him at the AIS pool. He was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as winning the most consecutive national titles won by a male competitor.

Terry represented Australia in the Olympics in Melbourne in 1956 and in Rome in 1960, where he won a silver medal in the medley relay. He also wore the green and gold at the Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Wales. After an illustrious swimming career, Terry turned to coaching. He made champions like Phil Rogers, Linley Frame, Georgina Parkes, Beverley Whitfield, Graham Dunn and Ian O'Brien. He was the Australian Olympic swimming team coach in 1964 and 1976, and three times a Commonwealth Games coach.

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