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Town Hall, 333 Bay Street, Port Melbourne
Town Hall, 333 Bay Street, Port Melbourne

Swimming in the Yarra

Norman Barry, well known dairyman in Port, was also a swimmer. He trained with the Port boys between the Piers. He swam in the 3 mile ‘Race to Princes Bridge’ in 1928 and finished in 1 hour, 40 minutes and 13 seconds.
He was awarded a certificate illustrated by Percy Lindsay from the famous Lindsay family.
The swimming race was discontinued because of concerns about pollution.
There is renewed interest in reviving river swimming in Melbourne and around the world.
Thanks to Helen Barry for this story and the certificate
Sources and further information 
“Australia. A Swimming Contest ‘Wholesale’. 549 of both sexes, compete in Annual 3 mile race in the Yarra River – one of Australia’s most noted sporting events!”
accessed 26 02 2015
emelbourne The City Past and Present Swimming and Diving
Reviving the race on a cleaner Yarra River accessed 26 02 2015


  • Joy Lawton
    Posted October 31, 2018 2.58 pm 0Likes

    I have two of those above certificates obtained by my Auntie when she swam in the 3 mile swim which were nearly thrown away, but now hang proudly on my wall

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Acknowledgement of Traditional Custodians

We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet and work, the Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation and pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.