Dear rowers, supporters, past and present, and all those in the wider sporting community,
My name is Hannah Stanley. In April this year Keith Swanson passed away after losing a battle with cancer. I have been a member of Balmain for about eight years and throughout that time Keith was a constant in and around the club, a proud, diligent, wholly committed servant of the club. With your support I want to launch two new initiatives in memory of Keith Swanson. I’ve been in contact with Keith's wife Patricia and there have been two things that she thought would commemorate Keith’s tireless efforts at the club.
Patricia believes that Keith would be tickled pink with the idea of a trophy named after him. I would like to establish a perpetual trophy to honour Keith – to be an award for the person who epitomises Keith’s spirit and contribution to the club. Keith was a person who attended to so many things around the club, many not immediately noticed or recognised. Small and large repairs, rescuing the pontoon, gardening, mowing, rubbish removal, gear maintenance, running squad members to and from school and regattas and, of course, his coaching of so many of us. If you would like to donate to this trophy, please note that this is not tax deductible. The bank details are as follows:
Account Name: Balmain Rowing Club
Account Number 59-208-4235
Please include as your reference ‘Swanson Trophy’
b) CHARITY DONATION: (Tax Deductible for donations over $2)
Patricia has spoken of two charities which she believes that Keith would have wanted to support.
Firstly, the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse at RPA. (Where Keith went for all his treatment). The Lifehouse is an initiative set up by the late Chris O’Brien to transform the treatment of cancer by providing a new centre with new technology and research facilities. The RPA Lifehouse centre is currently in the process of being built and is due for completion by autumn 2013.
To donate, to this charity, please go to: Lifehouse and fill in the tribute (I have contacted the foundation and they will send out a single letter to Patricia).
If you do not have access to a computer (or do not like dealing with money on the internet), there will be Lifehouse at RPA envelopes at the club.
Keith loved kids. Patricia told me that she would often lose him at shopping centres or when they were out because he would be off having a conversation or making faces at a little child. If Keith were still alive, Patricia believes that he would want children with cancer to not only be cured of their illness but to also enjoy their time with family and friends. When Keith was ill, he and Patricia spent some time at Patricia’s sister’s house down the coast, which did the world of good. Camp Quality is a charity which combines these two ideas: rest and relaxation to allow a ‘laughter as the best medicine’ approach for children.
There is an option to mail a letter – please do not check this, so that Patricia is not bombarded with letters.
I have organised with each charity that they send out a single letter to Patricia at a later date. Please do not fill in the form with any other addresses to confuse the matter.
Keith was known around the club, around Iron Cove, and around New South Wales – Stainless Swanson was his name, and he would give everything to the club. As Ian Toll put it nicely in the eulogy, Balmain Rowing Club was Keith’s love, but it always remained second to Patricia.
Please help Balmain Rowing Club and the Swanson family commemorate Keith’s life and his work by donating to these causes. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.