North Shore Masters, North Shore Legacy
Over 20 years of adult swimming achievements!

The first sign of masters swimming on the north shore began in the early 80’s. Joan Parnell, at the time a one-woman-team, attended her first two swim meets. Soon after, she spread word through north shore lanes, asking other SwimFit participants to join her.

In 1984 Barb Wiens decided to dive in and attended a swim meet along side Parnell in Edmonton. Soon after arriving in the Alberta’s capital city, Barb discovered that not only was this her first meet, it was also the Canadian Nationals. Both women achieved excellence, with Joan placing first in seven races and breaking seven Canadian records. Both women became undeniably hooked.

By 1985 the team had increased to five and became known as the North Vancouver Masters. All of the swimmers accompanied by their entourage flew into Winnipeg for the annual competition and the team has been growing and competing since.

In 1986 the then North Vancouver Masters participated in the first World Master Swim Meet held in Tokyo, Japan. Local swimmers included June Borthwick, Frances McKilligan, Joan Parnell, Margaret Pickering and Barb Wiens. Parnell placed second in one event and third in two others.

Two years later (1988) Vancouver hosted the Canadian Nationals making it easier for more North Shore swimmers to participate. The team increased to eighteen swimmers, four of which were now men; Peter Bell, Eric Dean, John Looye and Roy Borthwick. Dorothy Bullen, who was seventy-five at the time, also joined the team.

In 1990 the North Vancouver Masters joined forces with the Seymour Rapids to form the North Vancouver Rapids. Anyone who was interested in competitive swimming was encouraged to join the group. One year later Pat and Jack Gallagher, Sunshine Coast residents, joined our team.

By 1995 the team had 19 swimmers representing the Rapids at the Provincials and 17 at the Nationals in Victoria. Team representatives included June Borthwick, D. Bowering, Dorothy Bullen, Denis Crockett, Cynthia Cushing, Bill DeKlerk, Jack Gallagher, Patricia Gallagher, Hervy Hicks, Kim Hubbard, Joelle Jensen, Kelly Mahannah, Khosro Mansuri, M. McMillan, Frances McKilligan, Joan Parnell, Tim Rienstra, Mark Shorter, George Sturgess, Nick Templeman, Cam Weir, and Chuck Woolls.

With the team’s foundation well-laid, and a legacy of excellence, the team still continues to grow. The team, now known as the North Shore Masters, includes adult swimmers from North and West Vancouver who participate in both SwimFit and Masters swim workouts at Ron Andrews, William Griffin, Harry Jerome and the West Vancouver Aquatic Center. There are well over 100 swimmers now swimming up and down the pool lanes of the North Shore with some swimming for fun, some preparing for masters swim meets and others training for triathlons.

submitted by Frances McKilligan and Joan Parnell