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Farewell Rod Baker

2013 Rod Baker.jpg

"Swimming is just a matter of breathing in, breathing out, relaxing arms and legs"

Mandurah Masters Swimming farewells Club legend Rod Baker who passed away on Sunday evening 30 September 2018 at aged 90 years.


Rod was a gifted swimmer. However, to appreciate just how good Rod was, you need look no further than the numerous FINA World Masters medals he won, FINA World Records he set, and his top ten FINA World Masters rankings.


 In recent years, most of all Rod loved swimming at Doddi's - especially  the last 100 m when he wouldn't let anyone pass him.

We will miss sharing a coffee with Rod and listening to him recounting one of many humorous anecdotes from his life adventures, of which he had more than most.

Thank you for your friendship and the wonderful memories Rod…you will be missed.

~ Condolence Messages ~

Rod was admired and regarded as a legend by club members. He will be greatly missed. Deepest sympathy to Pam, Merrilee and Kerry. From his swimming mates of the Mandurah Masters Swimming Club.

I think a lot of us have a story of how we nearly caught up to Rod in a swim, but he would always manage to dig deep and finish in front!
A true inspiration.  I will miss your cheery positive company and your swimming anecdotes.  I have very fond memories of the many Open Water Swims we competed in over the past 20 years. Farewell Rod - Deborah Bloor.

A good  man; a champion swimmer and a great singer who led a strong and varied life .An inspiration to everyone and certainly to us. He will be sorely missed and long celebrated - Robin and Eileen 

Rod is a true swimming friend and I always enjoyed his company. He had many interesting stories to tell. His swimming abilities are legendary. At Doddi's beach he always put out a challenge to anyone swimming near him by powering towards the shore for the last 100 metres. He made us swim hard. An enjoyable way to finish a swim. Rod will be remembered fondly - Ray Reynolds

This Man. This Champion inspired many of us.  This celebration of his life is being held at a fitting place.  So close to the ocean he loved -  Lyn McPhail

A great club man and will be missed - Wayne Hurtado

So sad to hear this news. He was a true gentleman and will be so sadly missed - Erica Thomas

He was always encouraging and positive with me, will miss him - Greg Cockram

A beautiful kind man Rod we will miss you. I had the pleasure of swimming in team relays with you. I'm sure you will be with us all in spirit, cheering us on, lve and hugs to the family - Annette Newcombe

Thank you Rod for your friendship, kindness & especially your amazing stories, you always encouraged swimmers & were the master of the fast finish. Rest in peace Rod, you will be greatly missed - Jan Boddy

I'll miss all his surf lifesaving stories. He had a great memory for detail, right to the very end. What a legend Rod - John Cahill

RIP Rod. What a legend - Jazmyn Tobin

Like John, I enjoyed his stories and what an amazing memory. RIP Rod - Tess Evans

On land Rod was warm, friendly and welcoming to new members, but impassable in the water. An unassuming inspiration to us all - Steve & Ann Ferguson


So sorry to hear about Rod. He will be missed on the starting blocks and singing the national anthem at Mandurah’s open water swim. Please share my condolences both personally and on behalf of Armadale Masters with Rod’s family and your club - Rowena Burch Armadale Masters member and Official

Dear Rod, I am so sad that you have left Mandurah Masters to swim in the blue waters of heaven. I will always treasure the photo Ivan took of us together. It was a privilege and an honour to stand beside such a champion swimmer, surf lifesaver and personality. I loved listening to your stories while travelling to and from open water swim events. You were such an inspiration to everyone in the club, both swimmers and non-swimmers. You will always be in my memory. It would be fantastic if all club members lived to 90, like you did. What a lot of club records could be achieved. My heartfelt sympathy to Pam and your family. Sympathy also to your true friend, Graeme - Rosemary Green

To Pam and family, please accept our deepest sympathy for your loss. Rod was a true champion and gentleman. As in life, his passing will touch the lives of many - Des and Kay Seery

I have always held a special place in my heart for Rod, and have had many chats with him over the years about swimming and life in general. He was a remarkable man and he will be missed dearly. I was so blessed to have had the privilege of swimming alongside him during his last swim at Doddi's.  Even though he was very unsteady on his feet he still swam like a healthy man half his age. It was by far my best “Doddi's moment” and is a memory I will cherish forever. He was one of the senior members of the club I looked up to, who reassured me that swimming and competing well in to your senior years is more than possible. I will miss his laugh, his wit, his chats, and hearing him sing the anthem on Australia Day. He is a great loss to our club, and Masters swimming. Our condolences to his family - Erica and Craig

RIP Rod, you were an inspiration to all - Glenda Hurtado

Will miss the conversation, the fun, the song, and the swim together in the ocean. RIP friend - Wayne Cable

RIP Rod, a true champ! - Jen Hurley

Will miss you Rod .... you were so inspirational to so many. RIP - Debbie Brown

Sincere condolences on the passing of the lovely Rod Baker. He was an absolute treasure in the WA Masters Swimming community and will be sorely missed. A great swimmer and an even greater man. RIP Rod - Sally Bell

Rod would be on of the most inspirational people one could ever met. Achieving all that he did and his enthusiasm to continue doing what he loved .. Wow. One can only feel very privileged and honoured to have met and swum with him. A true gentleman. Condolences to family and friends - Hazel Cockram

I was very sad to hear of Rods death although it was not unexpected. He was a wonderful role model for all swimmers. Despite standing on the international stage as an outstanding swimmer he was always very modest about his achievements. He will be greatly missed by the whole swimming community - Richard Fox

Rod was an inspiration for me from way back in the 70's playing water-polo for Dolphins, & then again as a brilliant Masters Swimmer.He will be missed so much. Condolences to Pam & family - Stuart Gray

So sorry to hear of the passing of our mate Rod. Great memories of our swimming, singing, laughing buddy. Will always remember his enthusiasm for life. Will miss you at coffee time at the Doddi's club tree - Jen and Steve Crake

So sorry to hear the news of Rod’s passing. I was late in joining the Manna’s. On my arrival, I did hear a lot about Rod. But I only ever spoke with him once – at a swim meet - where he told me the story of his amazing life.  And I’m glad he did. To our surprise, it revealed that at different times, we had both been involved with the Trigg Island surf lifesaving club – I was a mere member of it; Rod on the other hand, was more involved with CREATING it! And our chat also reaffirmed what I had heard about him – humble, gentle, and friendly.  It was apparent, that throughout his whole life, Rod led from the front in his many endeavours - even singing! When I heard him singing the national anthem at our Australia Day swims, I was moved enough each time, to ponder - is there anything this guy doesn’t do well? Apologies, but I am unable to attend the planned celebration on the 5th - of Rod’s incredible life - as I fly out bush again that day, for work. But my thoughts will be with you all: Rod’s family, friends and you Manna’s: pleasantly reflecting about Rod, his well lived life, and our good fortune at having shared memories with this lovely man. Condolences to Rod’s family - Simon Lyons

Sad to hear this, many fond memories of time shared in community theatre.  Carole Dhu

His swimming achievements are legendary but for me his friendship, support and many, many shared conversations, interests are what I will miss the most - singing, musical theatre, family, love of the beach, achieving in life - we can share no more. Every Doddis swim I attended, until his illness, he was there. The sadness I feel at his passing is only tempered by the thoughts he is now swimming in the most idyllic waters saved for the best possible people. Float in peace Rod - Linda Ray

Rod, there ain’t anything like the ocean swim challenge. Looking over, seeing your streamlined form and ultra smooth stroke. Hell can’t stay with him – too close, bow wave to bow wave, now Rod upping the pace. Lungs heaving can’t hang on – wander sideways away from Rod’s competitive gaze and recover. Now, again side by side Doddi’s groyne looming up and stoke for stroke I follow him in. Oh so bloody fantastic!

Rod you showed how to enjoy swimming again. You showed me your zest for life, your heart and spirit. I treasure all those moments, they live with me now - David Ralph

On behalf of Cockburn Masters Swimming club we extend our deepest sympathies to Rod’s family, friends and the Mandurah Manna’s. Rod was a regular swimmer and age group winner in our Jetty to Jetty swims but more than that he was inspiration to many Masters swimmers about what was possible, no matter the date recorded on your birth certificate. Vale Rod - Peter Marr

Rod was always ahead of me at Doddi's. I could never quite catch him! Amazed at his ability and endless records he set at State, Australian and World level. Remembered for his passion for swimming and his lovely voice. Singing the National Anthem at our Australia Day Swim. Rod Baker we salute you - Sue Giles


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