The Corporation of the Synod of the Diocese of Brisbane trading as Anglican Church Grammar School CRICOS Number: 00487E. © Copyright Churchie 2014
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From the beginning Canon Morris placed great emphasis on swimming. “We aim”, he wrote, “to teach boys to swim, to swim well, to swim to save life and to swim for physical development”. A swimming test of 100 yards was introduced at Toowong in 1912, and at his first Speech Day that year he reported that, “the boarders have been very faithful to swimming. An early swim is an alternative, much preferred than early study. All the boarders have passed the one hundred yards swimming test”. The test became the Viking test and once a boy could swim 100 yards he was a considered a true “Viking”.
Swimming was an even more popular activity once the School moved to East Brisbane. With Norman Creek (wider and deeper in those days), as part of the boundary of the property, all boys could swim or were expected to learn to swim. By 1918 the Viking test had been extended to about 120 yards, once across Norman Creek and back again. Each school report faithfully recorded the names of “Vikings”. In 1926 the enthusiasm for swimming required a new test and the River Kings were introduced, - four times backwards and forwards across the creek, about 500 yards. The ultimate goal was to be a Pocket King – a swim (or in some cases a float) around the Pocket of about one mile.
By 1920 the school had its first “swimming pool”, a cement box by the side of Norman Creek, 30 feet square, 3 to 5 feet deep and connected by a pipe to the creek and usually with a layer of creek mud on the pool floor.
“The summer season opened in the usual way with the passing of the test by a number of boys, amongst whom were a number of new boys. At the beginning of the season the tides were high so that the swimming pool was almost full at times. ... Since the beginning of the season a new staging has been erected by the boarders; it is made of hardwood, and goes well out over the water, and has a flight of steps running down to the water, which proves a great benefit in that when the time comes for getting out one can leave the water quite clean whereas before, when the enthusiast had to wander through mud, he did not feel much better for his swim. There is also a very good spring-board attached to one end of the staging. which is a vast improvement as well as a safeguard, for now diving can be indulged in safely by everybody that is, of course, if you do not dive too soon after the other chap and meet him below the surface, such meeting generally being unpleasant for both parties. It is also a safeguard in that we do not now run the risk of hurting ourselves climbing mangrove trees to find a good branch to dive from. “
The Viking Vol.1 No. 1 Dec.1020 p.8.
In 1936 the 25 metre pool was opened at a cost of £1500. For the next 22 years (until 1958) it had no filtration system and the pool was emptied every 20 days, scrubbed clean and then took about 8 hours to refill.
The 50m pool built in 1971 and served the School until 2009 when the area was redeveloped with the Barry McCart Aquatic Centre opened in 2010.
If you have any queries about the information on this page, please contact the School Historian James Mason OAM firstname.lastname@example.org.
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