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Manly Swimming Club First Annual Carnival program

Date: 6 January 1906
Overall: 138 x 222 mm, 0.03 kg
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Program
Object No: 00029912
Place Manufactured:Manly
Related Place:Manly,

User Terms

    A program for the Manly Swimming Club's first annual carnival and official opening of the extension of the baths on 6 January 1906.
    Featured on the cover are three black and white photographic portraits of the swimmers Fred Lane, Bernard Kieran and Richmond 'Dick' Cavill who were all well-known champion swimmers and record holders.

    SignificanceThis swimming program documents the history of Manly Amateur Swimming Club which held its inaugural carnival in 1904. Manly Swimming Club produced some of Australia's best known elite swimmers such as Andrew 'Boy' Charlton and Freddie Lane (pictured here) who represented Australian swimming at the Olympics.
    HistoryManly became one of Australias earliest beach culture towns and attracted thousands of visitors to its shores due the close proximity of the growing city of Sydney. In a promotional publication from the time, 'Marvellous Manly : The Alluring Village of the Pacific Ocean. Australian Country Life. Volume 7, Number 6, Sydney, New South Wales, December 15 1911', Manly's growing reputation as a swimming force is discussed :

    "The Manly Swimming Club was formed as the outcome of a public meeting of residents, held in Manly, 21st September, 1905, with the main object of producing a body of athletes proficient in the art of natation and life-saving, whose knowledge and ability would be of use on the Ocean Beach, where surf-bathing was about that time leaping into popular favour, and attracting to Manly people from near and far, many of whom had little or no knowledge of swimming and not much opportunity of gaining that knowledge in the surf.
    Since that date many changes have taken place in the natatorial world, but the Manly Swimming Club has continued to progress, and is one of the most flourishing organisations of its kind in the Commonwealth.
    The active interest manifested in it is shown by the large number of entries received in connection with its carnivals. Already this season the club has broken the previous Australasian record entry for the number of starters in any one club race."

    The Manly Swimming Club produced many of Australia's first champion swimmers and Olympians and helped promote swimming as a both a recreational activity and a widespread accepted pursuit. Successful swimmers became household names and travelled overseas to successfully compete with the rest of the world.
    On the left of this program is a photograph of Fred Lane who became Australia's first Olympic swimmer and the only Australian swimmer at the Paris Olympics in 1900. He later run a successful printing business 'Smith and Lane' who were responsible for printing this program.
    In the centre is a photograph of Bernard Bede Kieran who died in 1904 at the age of 19. Kieran had been a 'SOBERON Boy' and started swimming in Sydney Harbour. He originally became a holder of several New South Wales championships and later went on to compete overseas to more success and at one stage was considered the 'world’s greatest swimmer'. He died as a consequence of an appendix operation a month before this program was printed.
    On the right of the program is a photograph of Richmond 'Dick' Cavill, the youngest of the famous Cavill brothers who had made their name as Australia’s premier swimming family. Also known as 'Splash', Dick Cavill was the first swimmer to both use the 'Aussie Crawl' in competition and to swim 100 yards in under a minute.
    In addition to races, swimmimng carnivals also held exhibition events as entertainment. These events could include diving, new swimming styles or, as on this day, an appearence by 'Jack Coutts, aged 3 years (the extraordinary wonder who will walk 200 yards on water)'.

    Included in this booklet, both in a picture and as a listed competitor, is Cecil Patrick Healy. Healy, who is listed in the booklet as being the record holder of the 100 yards, went on to compete in the 2012 Olympics in Stockholm where he obtained a silver medal in the 100 m freestyle, and a gold in the 4 x 200m freestyle relay. In September 1915 Healy enlisted in the Australian Defence Force where he obtained the rank of second lieutenant in the 19th (Sportsman’s) Battalion. He was killed in action fighting in Peronne on 29 August 1918.
    Throughout his life Healy attained numerous swimming titles, awards, and accolades and is noted as possessing the greatest attribute of sportsmanship. He is the only Australian gold medallist to die on the battlefield. Records and newspaper clippings pertaining to Healy are accessible on Trove, NLA wedsite and through the AWM, including a book titled ‘Cecil Healy in memoriam’.

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