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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria Hospice staff Brianne Ohl, left, Angela Chalmers, right, and Sandi Ogloff, at back, show off their buttons that show a picture of them smiling. Staff has worked hard to maintain the connections with patients despite the barriers of PPE and rigid COVID-19 protocols. (Victoria Hospice Photo)
Hospice provides compassion in a time of COVID

Victoria Hospice 40th anniversary on pause during pandemic

Look for the Random Act of Kindness Day colouring contest in Black Press issues Jan. 17. Physical entries can be mailed or dropped off to local Black Press offices. A scanned or photographed entry can be emailed to info@victoriafoundation.bc.ca. Winning entries can get a $50 gift card to Bolen Books and a $100 donation to a charity of their choice from the VIctoria Foundation. (Pixabay)
Colouring contest coming for Kindness Day

Kindness Day colouring contest in partnership with Victoria Foundation

Sidney has moved the remaining parts of its public consultation phase part of the Official Community Plan online. (Black Press Media File)
Sidney moves to an ‘all online engagement’ process for OCP

Staff says OCP charrette scheduled for mid-February

(File photo)
‘Very lucky’: Two passengers, dog escape rollover crash in Saanich unscathed

Vehicle flips on Trans Canada Highway after hitting median, possibly due to ice, firefighter says

The large metal gate stolen from Muddy Valley Farm in rural Saanich on Jan. 18 reappeared less than a week later. (Muddy Valley Farm/Facebook)
Large metal gate stolen from Saanich farm makes mysterious reappearance

12-foot gate returned to Muddy Valley Farm less than a week after it was stolen

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

A long-term care worker receives the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo earlier this month. (Island Health photo)
All Island seniors in long-term care will be vaccinated by the end of this weekend

Immunization of high-risk population will continue over the next two months

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Comox Valley RCMP are looking for witnesses after the theft of a generator worth thousands of dollars. Photo supplied
RCMP asking Vancouver Island residents to watch for stolen generator

Vehicle may have been travelling on Highway 19

Most Read