Diggers stalwart continues to make a splash
AN AMPUTATED leg has not stopped Geoff Fowler from swimming with the Lismore Diggers club for more than 30 years.
Fowler lost the bottom part of his right leg after a motorcycle accident in Papua New Guinea in 1971.
He moved back to Lismore after spending four months in a PNG hospital and has swum with the Lismore Diggers club since 1979.
The club hosted one of its bigger carnivals at the weekend with about 100 swimmers from seven clubs competing.
Fowler swam in freestyle events and managed to pick up a second place with results based on handicaps.
"Jogging is obviously out for me but this is something I've really enjoyed for a long time now,” Fowler said.
"Everyone has a chance at winning because the races are handicapped and I enjoy having a few beers at the end of it.
"We were a really big club back when I first started but there are only about 20 of us getting around now.
"I've tried to keep fit over the years. I swim with the club here every Sunday and I've played a bit of lawn bowls too.”
The 68-year-old has been retired for a few years after working at various post offices around the region.
He served in the Vietnam War in 1969-1970 before the motorcycle accident while attending teachers college the following year.
"All the ligaments in my good leg were torn and I was in hospital over there for nearly four months,” Fowler said.
"I knew I was in a fair bit of trouble straight away and the surgeon made it pretty clear what was going to happen.
"I think I had the accident on the Sunday and the leg was gone by Wednesday once they couldn't get any circulation going.
"It was a relief to get back home to mum and dad's in Lismore and then it was a bit of a challenge to get accepted into the post office after that.”