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Ken Phillips 1945 - 2017

Ken renewed his school boy swimming at age 53 when the family moved to Mandurah in 1998.  His first contact with Mandurah Mannas was with Gerry Green after reading an advertisement in the local paper. Maybe his swimming talents weren’t initially recognised as he was soon pressed ganged as Treasurer in his first year. Ken served fourteen years on the committee in a variety of positions, including: President 3 yrs, Vice President 1 yr, Treasurer 2 yrs, Club Captain 5 yrs and Social Secretary 3 yrs. In addition to committee duties, Ken was always ready to assist others when required. If a committee position was vacant for any reason, he would take on extra responsibilities outside his own position. For example, he created and maintained the Club website.

Ken enjoyed competing in both the pool and open water.  Why? Because he could do it and got a lot of satisfaction from just doing it.  His introduction to Open Water Swimming was a team relay of the Rottnest Channel in 1999.  He went on to complete over 150 swims and kept all the caps that are issued with each swim.  The highlights of his open water swimming were the first Mandurah Mannas Team of Gerry Green, Deb Bloor, Shelly Lane and Ken (boat skipper was Ray Wilson) to swim the Rottnest Channel in 2001, and the English Channel Relay in 2012 the team being, Ray Reynolds, Deb Bloor, Sue Giles, John Reyburn and Ken.


Pool swimming had its highlights too. The National Masters Championships in Perth 2003, Adelaide 2004 , Darwin 2007, Alice Springs Masters in 2010 and and the World Masters Championships Perth 2008. By a stroke of fortune Ken also competed in the National Short Course Championships in Brazil, 2008. In the 2013 State Open Water Swim Series aggregate points scores, he was third in his age group. Ken was a consistent points scorer for the Mandurah Mannas at Club Challenges and the National Aerobic (now known as Endurance 1000) Award. He was also a member of a couple of State Record relay teams.


Enjoying swimming is one thing, another is helping to keep it going swimmingly.  Ken began officiating courses and eventually was made a Referee in 2010.  This gave him great satisfaction and an insight to the other side of swimming.  He was the Masters Swimming WA 2011 Official of the Year. 


In recognition for his service to Mandurah Mannas, in 2003 he was awarded the Kathy McLeod Award for the Best Club Person and was elected as a Life Member in 2014. In 2015, Ken was awarded inaugural City Of Mandurah Male Club Person of the Year

2001 Rotto Team - (L to R) Gerry "Lucky" Green, Shelly Lane, Deborah Bloor and Ken Phillips.

2012 English Channel Rely Team - (L to R) John Reyburn, Deborah Bloor, Ray Reynolds, Sue Giles and Ken Phillips.

For four years Ken, arranged courses for others to become officials when he held the position of Technical Education Coordinator for MSWA.  The highlight of pool officiating was in August 2015 when he was selected as a Technical Official for the Fina World Masters Swimming Championships in Kazan, Russia.


In 2016, on top of his selection for the 2015 Fina World Masters Swimming Championships, Ken's outstanding work refereeing MSWA events, educating and mentoring trainee Officials was recognised when he was named the Masters Swimming Australia Official of the Year for 2015.

Sadly, Ken passed away on 9 October 2017.

Ken at the 2015 FINA World Masters Championship Kazan Russia.

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