Rossland Pool celebrating 80th anniversary

This summer marks the 80th birthday of the Rossland swimming pool.

Put down the gaming console and opt for a healthier choice, like a swim.

This summer marks the 80th birthday of the Rossland swimming pool and the Rossland Recreation Department wants the community to celebrate with a trip down memory lane.

The miners in Rossland floated the idea of a pool to parliament in a night lettergram 80 years ago and a few weeks later the community was rewarded with a swimming pool.

Senior lifeguard Mark Andrew began volunteering to help with research less than a month after relocating to the region for a summer job.

“I was inspired by Robin (Hethey) and the pool today—in 2012—it’s the heart of the community in summer time,” he said. “I guess what I’d like to do is bridge the gap for the 94 year-olds, 44 year-olds and the four year-olds so they recognize what a special place it is.”

Andrew and Rossland’s recreation programmer Robin Hethey began collecting correspondence from the old Rossland Pool Society, financial records and museum archives. As a result, the history of the pool has been chronicled for the community to access in an online video.

“I think the video is a really nice way to put a bunch of stills together,” she said. “But for me, as a visual person, it’s really cool to see someone who was a child from the age of three or four years-old and then fifteen years later, there they are as staff wearing a uniform, and then fast forward another decade, and there they are as a mother.

“Then add a few more years and then it’s their child.”

But the duo’s research isn’t over yet.

“One of the questions that remains is whether the Rossland pool is the oldest in the province or not,” she said, while detailing the calls she has been making.

“I know there are lots of other outdoor pools in the province, but I’m thinking the only way to get people to respond is to challenge them and say the Rossland Pool is the oldest in province.”

The Rossland pool was built in the 1930s and one year later, it was complete with pump circulation and disinfectant and 80 years later the pool is still operational.

The recreation department is planning a birthday bash to celebrate their unique title on Aug. 15.

There will be games, races and prizes open to the public between 1 and 4 p.m., the swim club will have activities between 6 and 6:30 p.m. and a floating movie night will begin at 8 p.m.

To watch the video visit http://www.rossland.ca/rossland-pool or to contribute content contact Hethey at recreation@rossland.ca.