Memories of Naenae Pool: Lyn McFedries - Naenae Olympic Pool a home away from home

Black and white image of divers at Naenae Olympic Pool banner image

Published: 17 February 2022

For more than 60 years Naenae Olympic Pool has played a large part in the lives of people in Naenae, Lower Hutt and the wider Wellington region.  Opened in 1956 the pool has been a centre where memories have been created.  As we work to build a new pool and fitness centre we share a few of those memories with you here.

Lyn McFedries  - Naenae Olympic Pool a home away from home

With the Naenae Olympic Pool just 100 meters from her family home the pool was like a second home to Lyn, her brothers Bernard and Frank and sister Janice when they were growing up.  She was there the first day it opened in 1956 with hundreds of other local children and from then on, its where she and her siblings spent many hours training, competing and having fun.

Lyn took to diving and was coached for years at Naenae Pool by Gordon Speedie (Spud). A Wellington Champion, Lyn won Bronze at the National Championship in 1961.

The entire Golder family were instrumental in the Naenae Olympic Pool Amateur Swimming club with Lyn one of the founding members.

Lyn later met her future husband Napier McFedries at the pool when he moved up from Blenheim and started training under Johnny Hamilton.  He went on to be a Wellington Backstroke Champion and won 3 bronze medals 1958, 1959 and  1960.

Lyn and Napier went on to start the Otaki Swimming Club in 1963 when they moved up the coast and have taught hundreds of children to swim over the years.

Picking up the mementos from the Naenae Community Hall where 59 years ago they had their wedding anniversary Lyn and Napier were thrilled to be able to take home one of the original starting blocks and some of the tiles from the pool.  As long-time supporters of anything to do with water they even grabbed a couple of exercise balls that they are passing on to the Otaki Surf Lifesaving club to exercise with.

“It is so great to have the pool coming back for the kids to have fun in and learn to swim.  It is just so important,” says Lyn.

“Naenae pool was a place for us kids in the neighbourhood all to meet and hang out.  It was innocent fun and it was great.”

As a result of their involvement in swimming Lyn and Napier were awarded Queen Service Medals in 2015 for services to lifesaving and swimming.   They are also now Life Members of the Otaki Surf Lifesaving club and Otaki Swimming Club plus other regional associations.