It’s a Ducks life for Judy

Dubbo Photo News - - Sport - By GE­OFF MANN

JUDY Walsh was the first fe­male to join the Dubbo Dig­gers Swim­ming Club; on Fri­day night she was awarded the Ducks’ high­est hon­our – Life Mem­ber­ship.

The award was made to Judy’s daugh­ter on Fri­day night. The Ducks lat­est Life Mem­ber re­ceived the news over the phone and re­ceived it in per­son on Mon­day (see photo).

“Un­for­tu­nately, I was in­dis­posed and not able to get to the Pre­sen­ta­tion but not to be out­done, I got a phone call from Tom Gray who pre­sented it to me while on loud speaker to the rest of the club! That would have to be first I think,” Judy said.

“I am very hum­bled by the award. I re­gard the club and all the mem­bers as part of my ex­tended fam­ily. They would have to be the most sup­port­ive bunch of peo­ple and they have been my sal­va­tion, par­tic­u­larly when I was do­ing the hard yards.

“Who would have thought that when I in­fil­trated the men’s do­main some 20 years ago – after a lot of com­ments and dis­cus­sions – that I would be made a Life Mem­ber.

“The Ducks were in­cred­i­bly sup­port­ive when my hus­band Brian was ill and died and they have kept me un­der their wings ever since. They are a very spe­cial group,” Judy went on with more than a hint of emo­tion in her voice. The fol­low­ing is from the let­ter of com­men­da­tion writ­ten by Dubbo Ducks Club Pa­tron Reg Fer­gu­son OAM.

“In April 1988, Judy be­came the first fe­male swim­mer to be ac­cepted into the Ducks fam­ily. I must ad­mit it did cause a lot of in­ter­est­ing com­ment and dis­cus­sion from the male mem­bers at the time!

Judy’s in­fil­tra­tion into the men’s do­main was the be­gin­ning of an in­sur­gence of the women’s “bri­gade”.

This 20-year vet­eran mem­ber comes from a fa­mous Ducks fam­ily. Judy’s late hus­band Brian was one of the all­time greats and was awarded Life Mem­ber­ship in 2008 after 40 years of ser­vice to the Ducks.

Judy is a pre­vi­ous win­ner of the Ken Mc­mullen tro­phy which is awarded an­nu­ally for out­stand­ing ser­vice to the com­mu­nity and is a for­mer vice-cap­tain of the club.

“@Madam But­ter­fly”, as Judy is com­monly known, is a pro­lific win­ner at Western Dis­tricts AIF. She has also com­peted suc­cess­fully at Na­tional level, record­ing many plac­ings in her events. She is also a con­tin­u­ous win­ner of her age groups in the Ducks Club Cham­pi­onship.

Judy is the Club’s Pub­lic­ity Of­fi­cer and her weekly col­umns in Dubbo Photo News are ea­gerly an­tic­i­pated.

Judy is a great be­liever in en­cour­ag­ing Duck­lings into the club. She is cur­rently train­ing two of her great-grand­daugh­ters and look­ing for­ward to the time these two lit­tle “Quack­ers” join the Ducks on the pond!

Judy has had well over 500 swims with the Ducks and shows no signs of slow­ing down. She has over­come ill­ness and trains reg­u­larly.

Judy is one of the most pop­u­lar mem­bers of the Dubbo Ducks, loved and ad­mired by all. She is a won­der­ful worker at all the club’s ac­tiv­i­ties, al­ways will­ing to lend a hand when re­quired.

Judy and Brian be­came the first mar­ried cou­ple to be­come Life Mem­bers of the fa­mous Ducks. Theirs is a truly mag­nif­i­cent achieve­ment.

PHOTO: DUBBO PHOTO NEWS

Judy Walsh with Tom Gray and her Life Mem­ber­ship cer­tifi­cate.

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