Thank you to the someone who posted this on Facebook: “My motto in life is ‘Keep doing anything you are able to do!’ It may sound simple, but let me put it in other words. It came back to me recently because somebody saw me putting on my socks standing up after swimming in the sea. The person was worried that I’d fall. You see, I’m 92 years of age, and I always put them on that way. I’m not planning to change it while I can do it. You can’t give up on yourself before life does!”
My Mr Corish memories
At exactly 9 o’clock every July morning on Cahore beach, there appeared a large and motley group of children. A bearded twinkling eyed instructor waded into the waves and called “C’mon on in Tiddlers” and the smallest of the kids shivered but followed in and joined hands. No matter what the weather, dull and cold or sunny and warm, wet or windy – also important to remember that this was pre wet suit era!!!! A variety of instructions: “jump over the waves, wash your face, hold hands in a ring and every second one lie back, face in the water” were all obediently followed until parents were requested to take their offspring and the next group of “more advanced” swimmers were ordered into the water.
Not until the oldest group of “experienced” swimmers finished did the instructor emerge from the sea, calling on the kids to follow him to the pier. with army-like precision we marched behind him gathering bundles of towels and clothes to participate in the Water Safety classes. Joined by a group of adults, we watched attentively as resuscitation was modelled and then in pairs we practiced on each other. Then all of us once again into the water, way out of our depth, and followed the procedures of “victim away” “rescuer away” for numerous rescue techniques.
It sounds so serious now and yet I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. amazingly we repeated the whole exercise again in the afternoon. The culmination (I’m not sure after how many sessions) was signalled with the arrival of an assessor from Irish Water Safety for THE EXAM. The resulting badge (if you got it!!!!) was quickly sown onto your togs to identify you as a rescuer.