I was born on July 30th 1940 at the Renmark District Hospital, the eldest of four children having two sisters and a brother. My Mother was a nursing sister and my Father was Editor of the country newspaper “The Murray Pioneer”. He also hosted a sports program on Saturday nights on the local radio station 5RM where I was his helper taking results from all over the Riverland. Living in country South Australia on the River Murray was a great beginning for me and my siblings. Our schooling was local at the Renmark Primary School and then on to the Renmark High School where I became a prefect and sports captain.
1956 was the great flood and my final year at high school when the town was evacuated except for emergency services. My mother ran the kitchen for the volunteers who came from all over Australia to help, and Dad kept the media informed and wrote a daily diary on the slow rise and eventual fall of the river. The diary has become a great historical source of information. He also helped when river banks and levies broke to save the town. My school friend and I stayed with friends in the nearby town of Monash and finished our final year at Glossop High School.
1955 Renmark Swimming Club - Ivan extreme left, Pauline extreme right
Pauline & her Dad doing the 5RM Sports broadcast
My family were very involved in sport and my mother and father were very good at whatever they attempted: my mother with tennis, golf and bowls and Dad was an all rounder with football, cricket then bowls. He captained the S.A. country cricket team against the touring English Test side in 1951 and we entertained them at our home after the match. Being country folk we always travelled many miles to participate in sport, both for inter school and our weekend competition of athletics, swimming, tennis, netball and softball.
I started work in 1956 at a family firm called Ogilvy & Sons who were agents for nearly everything, land, travel, insurance, auctioneers and taxation, which meant my experience was very vast and extensive. My friend and I shifted to Adelaide in 1959 and I worked for the South Australian Insurance Company.
Ivan was also born in Renmark and we became friends through our swimming interests after we had left school. He left Renmark to work in Adelaide before I did and we were married back there in 1961, and lived in Adelaide until 2002 when we shifted to Mandurah after we retired. Our two daughters were born in Adelaide, Karen in 1963 and Sandy in 1965. Karen shifted to Mandurah when she was married in 1987 as her husband was employed at Alcoa. Their daughters Catherine and Jessica were born in 1991 and 1994. Sandy and her husband shifted from Sydney to Perth twelve years ago, which was special as it means we are now all here in W.A.
Pauline with Furuhashi and Jon Hendricks
After our daughters were school age I worked for a cooperage which assembled wooden barrels for wineries all over Australia. Then the Olympic Tyre Company and my final 20 years with Seppelt Wines which became Southcorp where I spent my time in their treasury handling foreign exchange, money market and settlements, which was truly amazing.
I swam as a kid from age 12 to 16 in the Renmark Swimming pool which at the time was filled with river water. No black lines on the bottom of the pool to follow. The pool was eventually filtered and chlorinated, which was amazing at the time and lots of the blonde kids ended up with green hair because of the chemicals. We used to travel from Renmark to Mildura (a distance of 150 km) on weekends to compete in Interclub competitions. No pools were heated and tracksuits were only just a new invention. We nearly froze as towels got very wet between events. Our Dads used to do the driving and when the River Murray flooded we had to be ferried back over the river by boat, which belonged to our local dentist whose daughters were part of our swimming group. We were fortunate to have a very good coach who was also a very good swimmer who helped us out with our relay events.
I resumed swimming training when I was 40 and competed in my first triathlon at age 50 after our younger daughter Sandy, told us we should try it. Back then triathlon was still a new sport and everyone had old bomb bikes, and wet suits were unheard of, but we all had a lot of fun.
We have travelled interstate and overseas to compete with our swimming and my biggest thrill was when I gained a silver medal in my age group in the 3km open water swim at the World Masters Swimming Championships in Sweden in 2010. I also won a bronze medal in San Francisco in 2006 for the 3km Open water swim and achieved 3rd place in Morocco for the 800m pool swim in 1998. In 2015 I set 4 National records, 9 State short course records and 6 State long course records, as well as another 3 State long course records in 2016. In total, I have set 88 individual WA State Records and have been a member of relay teams that have set 26 WA State Records.
Currently I am enjoying a break after 12 years on the Mandurah Masters Swimming Club Committee. I am a volunteer with the Triathlon club helping with the youngsters called the TRYstars and also enjoy classical music, theatre, films and reading.
For hers outstanding service to Mandurah Masters Swimming, Pauline was made Honorary Life Member in 2019.
With any form of exercise it is very beneficial as it improves health, balance and mental alertness. You do not have to be elite at anything, just the fact that you are participating is rewarding.