Jack Beresford came into swimming like so many through his two sons Paul and Mark.
Wolverhampton Swimming Club was his pride and joy; he was a member of the Committee for many years. One appointment he did enjoy was as Treasurer of the Social Committee, a group of parents and friends who raised money for the Swimming Club funds. He was made a Vice-President of the Swimming Club.
Jack was elected to the Staffordshire ASA Executive in 1983. He declined the Office of President and was made a Life Member 1997.
By Profession Jack was a Lecturer in Maths at the Wolverhampton College. Jack decided to become a Swimming Official and attended the courses that Peter Holmes ran at the P.E. Centre, Penn Road in Wolverhampton. He undertook the written exams and then his practical exams by Norman Ibbett and Peter, and was successful. Jack then attended the first Referee Lectures (6 weeks) and took the written exam, again he was successful. As an Educator Jack joined Peter and between them they devised the courses and lecture duties including the Referees, which were the first in the District. Their great highlight was to be asked by the ASA to devise and staff a lecture weekend at Royal Air Force, Cosford for the Combined Services. They had three days of lectures and twenty-five candidates, with a 99% success, that was a great thrill.
As a Swimming Official Jack was very well respected. He refereed International, National, Regional and County Events and he was always asked to Open Meets. This gave credibility to the status of the event. It was strange to many people in Regional and National Swimming that he was known as ‘Fred’. Letters of invitation were always addressed to him as Fred. That was Peter Holmes’ doing. His first District appointment was the Age Groups, the Organiser was L.G.W. Ames (Les), whose wife Hilda asked why M.O. and then Jack, what was his proper name? Peter said, “just call him Fred”, and so it remained and what is more he enjoyed it when the Secretary and the President of the ASA addressed him as Fred. That was recognition indeed.
The Sport of Swimming has lost one its foremost Officials. A man who graced the poolside and was very well respected by his fellow Officials, Promoters and especially the Competitors