Swim England Essex in mourning: Fred Gale

Swim England Essex has recently learned of the passing of one of its greatest servants, Fred Gale.

In a volunteering career spanning five decades, Fred was synonymous with Swim England Essex, then known as Essex County ASA.

He chaired the organisation, but many technical officials will remember receiving his typed letter and stamped-addressed envelope inviting them to officiate at the county age group championships – an administrative process that he continued well into the digital age.

He held leadership roles at Canvey Island and City of Southend Swimming Club (formerly Southend of Sea SC), where he was latterly President.

More than anything, the Essex Swimming community will remember Fred as an ever-present referee at Southern County, East Region, Swim England Essex and local club meets.

Whilst the value of his contribution is incalculable, his willingness to assist clubs over such a long period meant that they were able to hold countless open meets, raising millions of pounds to keep them afloat.

Those who remember being told off by Fred for running on the poolside or getting out over the timing pads will also remember the wise advice he gave when they approached him with a problem. Fred cared deeply about the Essex swimming community and for this we shall forever be in his debt.

Swim England Essex sends its deepest condolences to his wife, Angela and his children and grandchildren. The county will celebrate Fred’s contribution to swimming at its next competition.

Fred had a private family funeral.