Champion swimmer remembered
Memorial service for champion Mandurah swimmer Rod Baker.
THE beach he loved was the scene for a memorial service for champion Mandurah swimmer Rod Baker.
The service was held in the old Mandurah Yacht Club, close to Halls Head Beach where he swam with Mandurah Masters Swimming Club.
Mr Baker died on September 30 aged 90.
Mr Baker became Mandurah’s own world record holder after competing in the 2013 Masters National Championships in Sydney.
He was one of WA’s top swimmers and still swimming in Masters events up until recently.
The long-time swimming fanatic was the oldest member of the club and aged 85 could complete the 400m freestyle in seven minutes two seconds, when the world record for elite swimmers at peak fitness was just under the fourminute mark.
Mr Baker joined Scarborough Lifesaving Club in 1942 when he was 14.
Several surf lifesavers were still serving in the forces and after a few weeks it was evident he was their best swimmer and surf lifesaving became an important part of his life.
As a teenager he was a foundation member of Trigg Surf Lifesaving Club and later became a life member of Bunbury Life Saving Club. In 1951 Mr Baker saved four people from drowning at Scarborough and won the Royal Humane Society Award.
At the 12th FINA World Masters Championships in 2008 he broke five national records and two world records in the 80-84 year old division and later broke two world records in the 8589 year old division.
Veteran swimmer and lifesaver Rod Baker.