Cecil Patrick Healy was born in Darlinghurst on November 28th 1881. Darlinghurst is a neighbourhood of Sydney downtown located in the State of south New Wales in Australia. Cecil Healy is Patrick Joseph Healy´s son, exercising the profession of lawyer, and Annie Louisa Galott. . He is the Fourth child of a family of seven brothers and sisters. Very quickly the family moved to Bowral, a small rural town located a hundred kilometres away to the East of Sydney where Cecil Healy will frequent primary school : J Lee Pullings's school. But his father died in September 1895 while Cecil was only 13 years old.So, Cecil Healy returned in the city of Sydney where he continued his studies at St Aloysius' College, a Catholic college. He also joined the swimming club : 'East Sydney Swimming Club'. It is here that Cecil Healy will fully be training for swimming. Early in 1900's, Healy was already a remarkable swimmer, he was regularly well placed in various competitions, but it is only from 1905 that Cecil Healy will be at the top of his art .Repeatedly, he will win Australia Championships, will smash records and,will win Olympic medals... He took advantage of his popularity to write numerous articles and chronicles in newspapers, to inform more widely on the new technique of swimming (Crawl)... He is fully invested soon in 1907 in creating a sea rescue association and the popularization of surfing in Australia. Finally, he will engage himself at the army in 1915, will leave for Europe where he will die on the battlefield near Biaches in the 29th of August 1918.Cecil Patrick Healy is the only Australian Olympic champion man died in combat.His name is inscribed in the Roll of Honour, at the Hall of Fame and Manly Anzac Memorial since 2007. Even today, the Sydney's St Aloysius college pays tribute each year to Cecil Healy. Indeed, a trophy bearing his name is awarded to the winner of the school swimming competition.
By Bertrand FARENEAU,
- Bowral : highlandsnsw.com.au
- Assevillers New British Cemetery : ©bfareneau
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