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