Sad news – Bob Burn

Sadly, one of Otter’s past Presidents and long standing member, Bob Burn, passed away yesterday (1 August).

Bob joined Otter in 1954 and was President between 1983-89. He was swimming Vice Captain from 1963-65. A solid backstroker and fly swimmer, he represented Kent, Southern Counties, the ASA and RAF. He was even more successful as a water polo player, representing Otter’s first team in 1958 and then from 1960-1974. He captained Kent for many years and represented London and the Southern Counties. He had several England trials during this period and was a member of the Otter team which won the ASA title in 1964.

 Bob Burn (front row, second from right) as a member of the 1964 National Championship winning men's water polo team.

Bob Burn (front row, second from right) as a member of the 1964 National Championship winning men's water polo team.

Some members have been sharing their memories of Bob:

A truly great member. And a superb swimmer and water polo player. When I was a young member in the 1950s and everything seemed a bit daunting, he was a wonderful mentor. Charles Doxat (Otter President, 1976-82)

As a team man, two incidents stand out. The first was one evening at Crystal Palace in around 1965 or 1966, when the nominated Otter freestyle squad (then a 6 man team) discovered we were only 5. An urgent telephone call from our coach Bill Juba to Bob at his Beckenham home brought him from his dinner table to the poolside where we duly gained 2nd place… The second occasion was in the nominated 1967 team for the 1000m Van Scaldis Trophy in Antwerp. Our nominated backstroker dropped out and with less than 24 hours notice, Bob dropped everything to take his place for the weekend. James Stewart (Otter President, 2010-13)

Bob was President when I first joined the committee: very welcoming and also helpfully clear about the responsibility of the committee. Everything I know about China Otters started there! It was good to see him when the five past presidents swam together for the closing of Shell. Barbara Woodward DCMG OBE

Our condolences have been shared with Bob’s family, including his wife, Sheila. And we will raise a glass to him at our monthly social, tonight at the Jugged Hare. All welcome.

 Bob, and wife Shiela at the Otter Golf, 2010

Bob, and wife Shiela at the Otter Golf, 2010

If you’d like to read more about our Club’s 149 year history and the people who have made it the Club it is today, there are some great resources on the website:

Club History 1869-1994 (currently being updated for our 150th anniversary next year)

Past Presidents, Secretaries, Treasurers etc