Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The President's Cup

8 March 1919 Ethel Carrett aged 14

Seafolly eat your heart out - this is what a cozzie should look like!

And I think this is where I get my knees from :)

Here is my Gran - my paternal grandmother - looking a bit chuffed having just won the President's cup.

This is a copy of the original.  I think I did find the original but it was all chopped up...

but it did have written on the back in my grandmother's handwriting "The President's Cup - one hundred yards to one mile swimming."

Gran grew up in Parsley Bay, Sydney.  

She was the second eldest of seven children.

The photo is dedicated to Millie - her older sister - aka Dorothy Mildred.  

Gran outlived all her siblings by a country mile.  She won that race too.  Rene, my great Aunt, died in 1988.  My Gran died in 1996.

Ethel was a bit on the short side - another reason I think I am a bit on the short side.

She made up for it with big hats though - bless.

We don't have the President's Cup.  I wonder where it is now.  I do have a sugar bowl though, which apparently was the real prize.

I'm guessing this photo is about 1920.  Gran was born in 1904 and I think she would be about 16 in this photo. 

Interestingly, when I conducted a search on Trove using "Miss Carrett" this is what I found.

I hunted a bit more using different search terms "E Carrett" produced the best results.  

My guess wasn't too bad - I think the photo is from 1919.

The first reports of Ethel's prowess in the pool are from the Sydney Morning Herald, 3 April 1917 on page 10

"Sydney Ladies' Club - Results at Rushcutter Bay Baths: - 100 yds Handicap - M. Wylie, 1; M. Carrett, 2: M. Lovelace, 3.  30 yds Junior Championship - E. Carrett, 1; N. Safford, 2.  D. Carrett, 3."

Ethel would have been 12 and Daisy, one of the twins, would have been 10.  
Millie, Ethel's older sister would have been 14.

Then in the Sydney Morning Herald, Monday 10 March, 1919 Page 8 reports:

"New South Wales Ladies' Amateur Swimming Association - 
President's Cup Competition, 440 yds Handicap: E. Carrett, 2m 51s, 1 (time 9 min 35s)
N. David, 74s, 2 (time 8m) ; M. Carrett, 93s, 3 (time 8m 20s)."

Reported in the same column is the 

"Sydney Ladies' Amateur Club, at Coogee Aquarium Baths - 
Carrett Cup Competition, 880 yds Handicap: 
R. Carrett, 4m 44s, 1; M. Shepherd, scr., 2; E. Carrett, 3m 24s, 3 .  Time 20m 45s."

and then 

Junior Handicap. 33 yds: N. Carrett, 20s, 1; G. Carrett, scr., 2; (I'm wondering if this is Norah's older brother George and was he scratched because he was a boy???); O. Edwards, 14s, 3.  Time 1m 13s.   
The winner is only five years old. 

Isn't that just precious?

On the same day Ethel came 3rd in the 100 yds Handicap against M. St. Louis, 16s, 1; and her older sister M. Carrett, 20s, 2.  Time, 1 m 30s.  

Her younger sister Rene came 2nd in the 50 yds Handicap.  

In November Ethel tried her hand at Diving and came 3rd (SMH, 17 November, p.8)

Later that year Ethel came 3rd in the Breast Stroke Handicap Final. (SMH, 8 December, 1919, p.8)

In 1920 she came first in the 100 yds Handicap. (SMH, 26 January, p. 9)

In April of the same year, her older sister Millie and Miss M. Shepherd tied for the "Wilson" trophy with 27 points each. 

 "In a 50 yds breast stroke handicap to decide the winner, Miss Shepherd, who received 7s start, just beat her opponent.  
The point scores were: - M. Shepherd, 32; M. Carrett, 31; M. Lovelace, 19; E. Carrett, 14."

In 1921 Ethel came 3rd in the 50 yards Handicap - A Grade.  (SMH, 12 December 1921, p.6)  By then she was 17 years old.  
Two years later her younger sister Rene went on to win the same Cup.

I think the Coogee Aquarium Baths would have been rather special to swim in.  You can get an idea of what they were like from the extract from this book on Google Books.

I wonder how the girls got to the baths...did they catch the tram together or did they go in the pony and trap?

P.S. This is a beautiful collection of photos of swimming and beaches

4 comments:

barbara and nancy said...

wow. what a talented family. They all seemed to have won some race or other. I wonder if they were very competitive with each other.
And a 5-year old winner!
Nancy

Alex Daw said...

Dear Barbara and Nancy

Do you know I think they were probably pretty competitive. I am an only child so don't know what it's like to have so many brothers and sisters. I reckon you probably would compete to get some kind of attention from your parents.

Alex

Kristin said...

Very impressive swimming records and a great photo to have of your grandmother with her cup.

Alex Daw said...

Thanks Kristin - it is a fabulous photo isn't it? I wish I could say that I had inherited any of my Grandmother's ability! I do have fond memories of her taking me with her into the surf whenever we went to the beach though and always feeling very safe with her.