Dictionary of Sydney

The Dictionary of Sydney was archived in 2021.

Mr Walter John Ferguson recalls the dangers of swimming in the Georges River in the late 1920s, interviewed in 1986

Mr Walter John Ferguson, born in 1912, was interviewed in 1986 for the 'Looking Back at Liverpool: An Oral History of the Liverpool Region 1900 to 1960' project. Here he talks about the dangers of swimming in the Georges River and the establishment of a life-saving club in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

WALTER: It used to be a regular swimming hole right from Liverpool to Casula and every year there was always someone getting drowned in Liverpool but this particular time someone was nearly drowned down the river and he was the one that started it, with the help of Terry Fitzpatrick. He started a life saving club, oh he had about thirty members altogether. We used to turn around and patrol the river as much as we could, and then again at Casula. Over the few years that it lasted there was quite a few well and truly saved. There was one chap, about two hundred yards up from the old weir, maybe three hundred, there was a very good little beach there, and you'd swim across to the other side of the river, that was nearly the best place of the lot. Well he took a running jump off the bank one day, took it too deep and broke his neck, that was the end of a chap named Georgie Campbell. But it ran for about three or four years altogether. It just fizzled out.

Contributed By
(Excerpt from interview with Mr Walter John Ferguson, from the 'Looking back at Liverpool : an oral history of the Liverpool region 1900-1960' conducted in 1986 by Liverpool City Council, editor and project co-ordinator Catherine Johnson ; researchers Angela Imbrosciano, Verica Miiosavijevic, Kathleen Smith.)