60th Anniversary of the Queen’s Patronage

26 March 2013

Earlier this month we here at the ASA celebrated the Anniversary of the Queen’s patronage of the Amateur Swimming Association after 60 years of serving as our champion.

The momentous announcement was made on March 6th 1953 by the Hon Secretary of the ASA Alderman H E Fern OBE JP, at the opening of the 1953 Council Meeting at Cheltenham.  Mr Fern said “The Queen herself is a skilful swimmer, and it is very gratifying that Her Majesty should prove her interest in our activities by consenting, in this year of her Coronation, to grant her Patronage to the Association.  It is perhaps fitting that his recognition should be given in the year when we have a Lady President for the first time.”

Prior to the war, her Royal Highness the Princess Elizabeth was learning to swim at the Bath Club and in 1938 the Princess had passed the examination for the Bronze Award of the Royal Life Saving Society. She later became the first swimmer in the world to obtain the RLSS Junior Resuscitation Badge.

In the ASA report of 1953 it stated:  “The most notable feature of a notable year has been the Patronage so graciously granted to the Association by Her Majesty the Queen.  Such recognition is the best encouragement which could be given to the many thousands of honorary workers who aim is “a nation of swimmers.”

In 1969 H M The Queen attended the ASA Centenary Gala, Crystal Palace, on the afternoon of Thursday 15th May, which included a 90 minute programme covering a selection of the Association’s activities, namely swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming and personal survival.  The Queen was accompanied by Princess Anne and all five Districts of our Association were represented.

The Amateur Swimming Association have marked this momentus occasion with a commemorative display at the ASA Head Office.

For more information about the Queen’s patronage please contact wendy.coles@swimming.org

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