Life membership granted to Hervey Bay pool legend
AT 96, Dennis Jackson is living proof you're never too old to stay in shape.
For the last three decades, the Fraser Coast man has been a familiar sight at the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre, driving himself to the centre twice a week to swim laps up and down the 50m pool.
Yesterday, Mr Jackson received a lifetime membership to the pool in recognition of his swimming efforts over all these years.
Swimming about 10 laps every Tuesday and Thursday, the elderly resident has lost count of the thousands of laps he's done in the pool.
But he hasn't lost track of what it was like back in the day, when lifeguards were a thing of the past and the smaller pools and water play park were yet to be constructed.
"You've got to do something, I could sit at home and do nothing I suppose but I'd rather come swimming,” Mr Jackson told the Chronicle.
"It makes me feel better, keeps me reasonably fit.
"What's changed? It's a different pool altogether, there was no small pool there.. but apart from that nothing's changed I suppose.”
Some of his fondest memories over the years include participating in Masters Swimmers on Sundays and racing in some of the aged group races.
Mr Jackson's new membership won't change his routine, with the Hervey Bay man hopping straight into the pool to start his Tuesday lap quota after receiving the commendation.
Fraser Coast mayor George Seymour, who awarded Mr Jackson with his membership, said his efforts were an inspiration.
"Dennis is a lovely gentleman, he comes down here to keep fit... and to be awarded our very first life membership, I know he was really chuffed,” Cr Seymour said.
"I think it's really essential you keep active by finding something you love, it could be kayaking, bushwalking, croquet, bowls or swimming.
"I think that's the secret of a long, healthy and happy life: to find things you love, active things in the great outdoors.”