Edmund Joseph (Ned) PORTLEY

Edmund Joseph (Ned) PORTLEY

b. 1890 Pt Douglas d. 1965 Brisbane
Awarded RLSSQ Life Membership in 1945-46

Mr Portley had lived in Warwick from the age of ten until his death in 1965. During that time, he was the manager of the public Baths and in 1952 was elected as Mayor. He was involved with swimming and lifesaving skills in the early days (prior to 1920) in the Condamine River where an area had been arranged for ‘pool’ activities.

He was part of a group – all members of the Harriers Swimming and Lifesaving Club – who dug out the foundation for the next pool which was on the bank high above the ‘Condamine Pool’. Those others were Claude Fitzgerald, Ted Lonergan, Mat Ahern and Arnie Fitzgerald. When the ‘new’ pool had been completed with Council support it included a Diving Tower as well. The official opening was in 1920.

It was during these decades that he became instrumental in brining swimmers of both international and national fame to Warwick for carnivals. In March 1921, at a Primary school’s carnival, the Vennings gave a demonstration of lifesaving.

From that time on, the pool was used by all local schools and colleges where he worked closely with the Principals to promote both swimming and lifesaving skills. Many students had distinguished themselves in aquatic activities.

Ned’s own awards were: Proficiency; Bronze Medallion; Instructors and Special Award of Merit. He was also the Warwick representative on the Royal Lifesaving Society Queensland Committee.

The Life Membership Award was presented to him in March 1945 by Mr R C Hamilton (President of the Warwick Secondary Schools Sports Association) at the 21st Annual Carnival as he had not been able to present at the Society’s AGM in Brisbane.

In 1957, the magnificent new Town Swimming Pool was built and names the E J Portley Pool.

'New' Pool (Above the 'Condamine Pool'
Demonstration at 1921 Primary school carnival
1921 Primary school carnival
EJ Portley Pool
The EJ Portley Pool was opened in 1957 by the Premier Jon Frank Nicklin joined by Ned Portley