Fremantle Shivering Shags swimmer to notch 525th icy dip


Brother-in-laws Charlie Favazzo and John Moore are ready for another season on the barbecue for the Fremantle Shivering Shags.
Brother-in-laws Charlie Favazzo and John Moore are ready for another season on the barbecue for the Fremantle Shivering Shags.

LONG-TIME City of Melville resident John Moore learnt to swim at Bicton Baths as a young boy and has returned for a daily dip – rain, hail or shine – ever since.

Now 81, Mr Moore is one of the elder statesmen of the Fremantle Shivering Shags, a winter swimming club that has met at Bicton Pool every Sunday morning between April and September since 1976.

Mr Moore will log his 525th swim with the Shags this season – an average of more than 14 swims every year since he joined the club in 1980.

While just a speck on his overall tally, it remains a milestone he is proud of.

“I started at Melville Amateur Swimming Club as an eight-year-old and I’ve been going back every morning since,” he said.

“I used to live on Point Walter Road so I could just walk down to the river.

“When the water polo club started (in 1946) I joined up and played for them and then when I found out about the Shivering Shags I signed up with them too.

“I go down to the pool every day after 5am for a cup of tea and a swim.”

Appointed club chef in the late 1980s, Mr Moore has spent nearly 30 years in charge of organising and cooking the Shivering Shag’s weekly barbecue.

“We have a sausage sizzle and soup every week but sometimes we mix it up with bacon and eggs or hamburgers,” he said.

“The only complaint I’ve ever had about my cooking is that there isn’t enough of it.”

The Shivering Shags host regular club events and occasional swim contests against brother club Cottesloe Crabs.

The club is open to all men, including fathers and sons, but official swim counts only begin once a member has turned 18.

Swims are held at Bicton Pool every Sunday morning starting from 8am and finishing by 9.30am.

First time swimmers pay $10 and full membership is then $50 per year.