After a couple of years of chatting about the need to offer swimming lessons at Lac Pelletier, 3 friends Elaine Fraser, Lorraine Williamson and Esther Coombes decided that it was about time to stop talking and do something about it. The three ladies worked together and in 1962 received approval to offer the Canadian Red Cross Water Safety Program at Lac Pelletier. Registration for the first program offered was a huge success with 90 student registered and most notable twenty-five of the registrants were adults. All registration fees collected that first year were used to build a dock for the swimming program which of course included volunteer labour from their husbands! For the first few years lessons were offered at the north end of Lac Pelletier and then were moved to Darlings Beach where they have been held ever since.
In 1975 Lac Pelletier Regional Park took over running the swimming lessons and the Park continues to this day offering swimming lessons every summer. Swimming lessons at Lac Pelletier is a right of passage for many of the children and grandchildren of the first registrants. Campers and families still schedule their holidays at Lac Pelletier so that their children can participate in open water swimming lessons and continue the family tradition of learning to swim at the lake.
The Park continues to offer the Canadian Red Cross Water Safety Program every summer. In 2021 over 90 swimmers were registered in the two sessions offered and the Park is looking forward to offering this program for many more years to come. Information on swimming lessons dates and times can be found on the Park’s Facebook and website once the lesson schedule is set and an instructor hired, which is normally around the middle of May.
In 2022 we will be celebrating the 60th Anniversary of swimming lessons at Lac Pelletier and hope to see you registered!