Oak Bay Rec parties like it’s 1975

Clothing and admission prices reflect opening day 40 years ago

Nelly Stock feels she owns this water after 38 years working as a lifeguard and swim and fitness instructor at the Oak Bay Rec Centre. The centre celebrates its 40th anniversary this weekend with 1975 drop-in rates.

Nelly Stock feels she owns this water after 38 years working as a lifeguard and swim and fitness instructor at the Oak Bay Rec Centre. The centre celebrates its 40th anniversary this weekend with 1975 drop-in rates.

The 1975 garb comes out this weekend at Oak Bay Rec Centre as the community celebrates four decades of community recreation.

Among them will be the longest-serving staffer, Nelly Stock.

“(The rec centre) opened in October (1975) and I came 18 months later,” she said, adding with a laugh, “I was here for a week already before I filled out my application.”

When Stock moved to the Victoria area from Chilliwack, it didn’t take long for someone at the centre to learn she had all her swim instructor credentials and recruit her. Since then she hasn’t ventured far from the community pool, even during her career as a registered nurse. She’s acted as a lifeguard, swim teacher, fitness leader and these days does primarily one-on-one swim instruction.

When she arrived, the nearly-new pool was state-of-the-art for its time, complete with adjacent tot pool designed to get younger children into the water.

“The first big change was the big blue slide in the ’80s,” she said.

While that one went off without a hitch, the second slide created some controversy in the ’90s. For safety and space reasons, they had to lose the diving board.

“Some people didn’t really like it,” Stock said. “Now I don’t think too many people remember the diving board.”

Many current residents will remember, or have heard of, the big renovations more than a decade ago. The project consisted of a new fitness facility, pool renovations, new family change rooms and new administration area. Throughout the work, residents utilized the facilities.

“That was a big change, it took months, but it was worth it,” Stock said. “Most people think it has added to the rec centre.”

Stock, like many staffers, knows all the regulars by face and many by name. It’s part of the charm that gets the rec centre continuously voted Best of the City by readers of the community newspapers – including Oak Bay News – each year. “This really is a community pool,” she said.

Not only do the regulars recognize her – well enough to shout “hello” as they cycle past on her walk home – but she also knows generations of them.

A recent visit to the steam room (which is, by the way, “very popular”) served as an impromptu reunion with someone who told Stock she taught him to swim – 25 years ago. That longevity, and popularity, means families will seek out Stock for their children’s lessons, remembering the swim instructor of their youth.

“I enjoy my work. When I get up and think, ‘I have to go to work,’ I know it’s time to quit,” she said. “It’s nice to get paid for a hobby.”

Stock keeps busy with classes six days a week, so it’s no surprise she’ll be on hand for the 1975 Celebration: 40th Anniversary of the Oak Bay Recreation Centre on Saturday.

The event includes admission prices four decades old: adults can get in for $1 and children for 50 cents, while tennis court rentals are $5 an hour.

Staff encourage residents to dig out the old wooden racket for authenticity.

On the ice, 1970s music will rule the rink with an everyone welcome skate at 7:30 p.m. Aquafit will also groove and the kids’ fun swims are dubbed “That ‘70s Swim” and “Sunday Night Fever.” The Sports View Lounge will also get into the swing with 1970s TV shows on the big screen and food with a similar theme.

For more information and schedules, visit oakbay.ca/parks-recreation.

 

Just Posted

(Black Press Media file photo)
School parking problems plague Oak Bay residents

Need exceeds official requirements for parking at St. Michaels school

In January 2019, Grade 5 students from Glenlyon Norfolk School, accompanied by Grade 11 student Anastasia Castro, gave a presentation to Oak Bay council seeking a ban on plastic bags in the district. (Black Press Media file photo)
Oak Bay set to survey businesses on single-use plastic products

Survey gathers information ahead of expected legislation on provincial, federal level

There were 255 babies born in Victoria in May 2021. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pandemic baby boom makes for a busier Vancouver Island Father’s Day

Victoria’s 255 babies born in May up almost 10 per cent over last year

Residents encouraged to fill out online survey to provide feedback on regional needs. (Pixabay)
Saanich police took a suspect into custody after a store employee on Cedar Hill Cross Road was assaulted Wednesday afternoon. (Black Press Media file photo)
Employee assaulted at Saanich store after asking suspected shoplifters to leave

June 16 incident saw worker taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth and Attorney General David Eby attend opening of the first government-run B.C. Cannabis Store, Kamloops, Oct. 19, 2018. (B.C. government)
B.C. government to allow home cannabis delivery starting July 15

Added convenience expected to persuade buyers to ‘go legal’

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

Most Read