Gerry was born in Pinjarra in 1944 and lived in Mandurah until he was 14. Up until the time he left Mandurah, he never had a swimming lesson and swam exclusively side stroke, a skill he acquired from jumping off jetties and swimming back to shore.
From Mandurah Gerry moved to Fremantle and took up football and cricket, as well as doing boxing and basketball as a side line to keep fit. He played Reserves football for South Fremantle and Claremont Football Clubs in the winter and cricket in the Mercantile Association in the summer. When asked whether he was a bowler or batsman, Gerry replies, "Fast bowler - Yes, Batsman - definitely No!". Gerry was actually an outstanding fast bowler, often too good for the opposition. On one occasion the opposing team threatened to forefeit their second innings rather than face Gerry's bowling again!
Gerry speaking at the Club's 20th Annivesary
It wasn't until after he finished football that Gerry got involved in swimming again. In 1983, Gerry was still suffering from recurring football injuries and a friend swimming with Melville Masters persuaded him to join the newly formed Spearwood Masters who were looking for members. That's when he discovered side stroke wasn't going to cut it! Gerry started to compete regularly in ocean swims (not using side stroke), which continued until 1989 when he moved back to Mandurah.
In Mandurah, Gerry swam on his own until 1993 before forming the Mandurah Aussi Masters Swimming Club together with Neil Aitkin, Shelly Lane, Irene Taylor, Jenny Cloete, Rob Warton, Vicky Klynnyk, Rita Breen, Dot O'Sullivan, Allie Glynn and Kathy McLeod. Gerry was Mandurah Mannas inaugural President in 1993. A position he held for the next 3 years. Other than having a 2 year break in 1997 and 1998, Gerry served on the committee in one position or another for the next 14 years until 2012.
In the early days, the night swimming sessions were from 8.00 pm to 9:00 pm in the inside 25 m pool. Not many people came for the late session, but Gerry always went just in case anyone turned up. In 1993, they built the outside 25 m pool (not heated). Gerry remembers swimming backstroke in the outside (bloody) cold pool in the dark, except for a full moon, and thinking "How sensible is this?". In 1995, the outside pool was enclosed and heated by boilers, which is when the club went to the 6:00 pm start (we have now).
From around 1999, Gerry has been involved in organising the "Be Active Club Challenge" Swims - now called LiveLigther Club Challenge Swims. Since 2006, Gerry has helped organising the Mandurah Open Water Swims at Cambria Island in the cannals, later at Silver Sands and now at Doddi's Beach.
Gerry (left) greeting finishers at the 2008 Cambria Island Swim.
2001 Rotto Team - (L to R) Gerry "Lucky" Green, Shelly Lane, Deborah Bloor and Ken Phillips.
In 2000, Ken Phillips asked Deb Bloor, Shelly Lane, and Gerry if they would join him in a relay team to compete in the 2001 Rottnest Channel Swim. They trained at Silver Sands and practiced in the estuary getting on and off the boat skippered by Ray Wilson. Their time for the crossing was 7hrs 29min 13sec.
Graeme McAuslane (left) and Gerry Green with their Life Membership Awards.
In 2006, Gerry was the recipient of the Kath McLeod Best Club Person Award. In 2011, together with Graeme McAuslane, Gerry was awarded Life Membership of Mandurah Mannas - a well deserved recognition that, for over 23 years, Gerry has been committed and given so much of his time to our swimming club. The pride Gerry shows in our club is very evident for all to see and the huge amount of work he has done has seen the club go from strength to strength. Where possible he has been actively involved in every club activity and helped make them the successes they have been.
Other than the Rotto crossing back in 2001, Gerry hasn't competed in many open water swims. But you will always find him swimming with the club at Doddi's Beach with his side kick and fellow founding member - Neil Aitken!
Thank you Gerry - from all of us!