Museum of Water is a radically different exhibition featuring hundreds of donations of water collected across WA over the course of a year. Commissioned by Perth Festival, UK artist Amy Sharrocks and the Museum custodians turned strangers into friends and liquid into art as they collected watery donations and the memories that go with them. If you’d like to add to the collection, you can bring along a donation between 11am–3pm daily until Sun 4 Mar.

Fremantle Leisure Centre’s Manager, John East came to FAC to submit his donation today. You can join him at Fremantle Leisure Centre this Sunday, where he’ll be taking you through the ins and outs of running one of WA’s most sustainably-run pools. Tours will run at 10am & 12pm.

How did you end up managing Fremantle Leisure Centre?

I was first employed at the centre back in 1989.  I was a swimming teacher for the education department. I soon realised that swimming instructing wasn’t for me, but I noticed the pool lifeguard and thought that seemed to be a cool job. In 1991, I did a few courses and became qualified and applied for a job and was employed as a casual pool lifeguard. I did this for a couple of seasons (back then the pools were open seasonally and weren’t heated). I became a duty manager and held this position for about 5 years and then moved to the Aquatics Supervisors position for 6 years before becomign the centre manager in 2004.

What the weirdest thing that’s ever happened at the pool?

We see weird and bazaar things regularly. We’ve had a full-on wedding ceremony followed by a reception. Many years ago there was trout fishing in the 50 metre pool and we get the occasional baptisms too.

Have you had any celebrities swim at the centre?

Ben Elton and John Butler have come to the centre. AFL players past and present, Alicia Molic (Pro tennis player), Tim Winton (writer), Magda Szababnski (comedian) Michael Klim (Olympic swimmer) and Kim Beazley (politician) are a few I know of.

What’s your favourite swim stroke?

My favourite stroke would be freestyle, followed closely with breaststroke. This allows me to make the distance of 20 laps, a few gruelling laps and a recovery lap. This works for me.

What colour is your swimming cap?

I don’t wear one, I have reasonably short hair.  If I was to wear a swim cap it would probably be a white one.

John East's Donation

John East’s Donation

What water are you donating to the collection and why is it special to you?

If I could get down to Denmark, my special water would have come from the Southern Ocean, I love to swim and surf down there. As I can’t have that collection of water, my next choice is from a body of water that I see just about every day. It provides enjoyment to many people (including myself and family) and also has given me purpose in my life, from swimming to exercise and water therapy to treat an injury. It’s a place where members of my family have learnt to swim and of course it’s a significant part of my employment. My collection of water comes from no other than the 50m Olympic pool at Fremantle Leisure Centre.

You can join John for a tour of the Fremantle Leisure Centre pools this Sun 4 Mar. Tours will run at 10am & 12pm. No RSVP required.