Sally Olizar joined Mike on a sunny but chilly last day of April to present a cup in memory of Maurice Ferris. Tony Schiemann held off Elly Jones to snatch the silver.
President Rob had two messages - 1. if you are a cup holder please return it in good time for this year's race and 2. please volunteer for a warden session (once a month is no sweat for most regulars).
Saturday's race was for the Maurice Ferris cup
Tony Schiemann 1st home
A stern President Rob reminded us to return our cups all bright and sparkly, and to volunteer for a warden session
Mike joined the club in 1967, aged 20. Though Mike won the1981 Peter Pan cup, he has never won a Christmas morning race. The lake was frozen that day, so the race was held the following February. Mike has the honour of being one of the club's youngest Presidents (perhaps the youngest?). He had just turned 42 when elected at the1989 AGM. Mike's professional career was in Highways Engineering. He spent many years at the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham where, amongst other things, he was responsible for crowd safety at the annual Oxford v Cambridge boat race. Mike is currently the club Archivist/Historian and is a font of historical knowledge regarding past club members and also Hyde Park.
Richard Maurice Ferris joined the club in 1926. He won the 1938 Christmas Day race and the 1966 Bridge to Bridge. Maurice was club President 1968-71. He was always affectionately known as being part of the "Harrow Mob", along with Alan Titmuss, Teddy Bennion, Arthur Goffrey, and Jack Baker (Alan Titmuss’s uncle). Before retirement Maurice worked at the Heinz factory in Harlesden and provided a plentiful supply of "unwanted" dented tins of food to Alan Titmuss. Alan always joked that though this was great, the tins did not have any labels so he and Paulette would never know whether they were opening baked beans, pilchards, peaches or treacle pudding!
For a more thorough write-up on Mike's time at the club (across seven decades) and of Maurice Ferris (who is still remembered fondly by the "class of '67) please follow this link to lst year's "race we missed report". The report also includes Mike's reminices on the many Poles who swam with the club in the post war years.
Mike entertained us with tales from the club's recent history, and of his attempt to get some swimming tips from a 1930's Polish Olympian
" I've never seen anyone with less talent for swimming and there is nothing that can be done to help" (Polish plain speaking at its' absolute best!)
Mike recalled his attempt at improving his technique - "Chester Kozlowski you will remember. He served as a sergeant navigator in a Polish bomber squadron under overall RAF command. He was a most elegant swimmer up to his 90s. He represented Poland in the Olympic Games before the War.
"I several times saw Chester giving Dr Pat Thomas swimming lessons. I once asked him to give me some. Chester turned with disgust saying 'I've never seen anyone with less talent for swimming and there is nothing that can be done to help.'"