Tribute to Illawarra icon Mick Lord (26/07/2012)

mick_lord.jpgThis week we said goodbye to a dear Labor supporter and local swimming legend, Mick Lord.

Over recent years as Federal Member for Throsby, I had the pleasure and privilege of knowing Mick, who was a longtime member of the Oak Flats ALP Branch and dedicated supporter of the Labor Party in the Illawarra.

Many others knew and loved him from his dedication to the pool. Mick was Shellharbour-Warilla Amateur Swimming Club coach from 1975 to 1990, during which time he steered his beloved daughter Karen to the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Karen remembers these times with her father fondly, recalling that he had more power around the pool than a police officer. He may have been scary but he knew his stuff.

Mick’s reverence in the local swimming circles was clear. Even after retiring in 1990, he was called upon for his experience and knowledge, sending Karen and her brother Gary to the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland.

Son-in-law Simon often referred to Mick as the “pied piper of swimming”, recalling how he would be swamped by parents’ requests to coach their kids right up until his final days.

Mick Lord was a true icon of the Illawarra. He touched many people’s lives by not only teaching them to swim but also through his fight to maintain the true Labor principles of decency and equality for the working man.

He was a great man, who will leave behind an even greater legacy. He will be truly missed.

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