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24 March 1874 Thomas Bastard

 24 March 1874   Thomas Bastard

On the 24 March 1874 Thomas Bastard, known as 'Cockney Tom', was appointed swimming master to the Government Model Schools, probably the first such appointment in South Australia. 

Bastard turned up in Adelaide in 1853 where some time later he opened Turkish baths and taught swimming, his pupils included the family of the Governor, Sir James Fergusson. In 1864 he started swimming competitions, possibly in the City Baths which were opened at the end of 1861. Also known as 'the Professor' he was 'universally liked for his affable and genial manners' - a genuine Cockney.

George Loyau,  The Representative Men of South Australia,  Howell, Adelaide, 1883, pp. 56-57.

Tags: Bastard Thomas, Cockney Tom