Beryl laps up attention
By RACHEL SCOLLAY
THE Lismore Memorial Baths was where Beryl and Ding Wotherspoon turned rivalry into romance. She swam for Kyogle, while he represented Lismore. "There was great rivalry," she said. "We were in the pool together every day training. I daresay it grew from there. "He reckons he won me on the way to the Murwillumbah swimming carnival." Beryl was a champion swimmer in her day, winning the State 100-metre freestyle in 1950. Together with her late husband Ding, they were responsible for teaching literally thou- sands of local children to swim. Beryl, of Lismore, said it was a 'big thrill' to be one of three people given the honour of the first official lap at the newly-opened Lis- more Memorial Baths yesterday. Beryl was flanked on either side by Dr Richard Opie, who paid threepence as a 10- year-old child to swim on the very first day the baths opened back in 1928, and local Para- lympian Scott Brockenshire. Dr Opie, who grew up in Lismore, made a special pilgrimage from Sydney to be part of the auspicious occasion. "Lismore used to be a very quiet, country town," he said. "I haven't been back for a few years, and now it's a really busy, buzzing, commercial centre. The crowds in the street have amazed me."