Call to rename Bathurst Aquatic Centre in honour of John Manning

The late John and Nina Manning at the opening of Bathurst Aquatic Centre in 2007.
The late John and Nina Manning at the opening of Bathurst Aquatic Centre in 2007.

AS the city stops to remember the passing of one it’s legends, John Manning, the call has been made to name the Bathurst Aquatic Centre in his honour.

“Mr Manning” as he was known to literally thousands of kids, managed the Bathurst Pool for 32 years, before retiring in 1994.

He passed away, aged 90, last week.

Following Mr Manning’s death, business owner Matt Irvine, thought it appropriate council consider naming the city’s aquatic centre in honour of Mr Manning, acknowledging not only his dedication to the city, but also that of his wife, Nina, who was also heavily involved. 

Mr Irvine floated the idea on social media, and started an online petition which already has over 320 signatures.

In the petition, Mr Irvine wrote he “respectfully request that Bathurst Regional Council consider naming the complex in honour of John and Nina Manning. Other alternatives could include naming individual pools within the complex for them, and any tribute should be determined in consultation with Manning family, but a title such as “The Manning Memorial Aquatic Centre” may be considered appropriate.”

Councillor Ian North, who knew the couple well, immediately showed his support, raising the suggestion with the Mayor and general manager of Bathurst Regional Council.

He said he hopes the matter will be ready to go before Council’s October meeting.

“I was honoured to grow up around John and Nina and people would be amazed by what they did for kids in the town; they clothed them and fed them, they were just very good people.

“Every kid who walked into that pool you’d swear they were their kids. They loved and cared about anyone who walked into that pool.”

Cr North said he will be doing “everything to make sure this happens.”

“As soon as I saw Matt’s idea I knew it had to be done. I’ve spoken to the mayor and general manager, and will be putting in a written submission, which hopefully will be before council’s October meeting,” he said.

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