Melville WPC Member since 1948-49
Melville WPC Life Member since 1973
Water Polo WA Life Member since 2000
Frank joined the Melville Water Polo Club as a 15-year-old junior player in 1948/49 and remained a Club Member for the following 70 years. Frank was a member of the Club’s first A Grade Premiership team and went on to have a storied water polo career spanning 22 premierships in A, B, C, D, F, and G grades. Frank also played in the Fremantle Colts, a combined Melville and Fremantle development team that competed in the A Grade competition in the 1950’s, a precursor to the Conference League concept currently in place in the A Grade competition.
Frank represented Western Australia in 1954, winning the Association Fairest and Best that season, and was invited to train with the Australian Team for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. Due to the prohibitive cost in both time and money to travel to Victoria for the training and selection trials for the games, Frank was not able to make that commitment to trial for selection.
Frank was one of the Club’s first junior coaches, taking on this role from the inception of the WA State Junior competition in the late 1950’s, and remained a junior coach through to the 1980’s. This commitment, in addition to his other works at the Club, was significant in maintaining the strength of the Club’s junior programs during this time.
Frank was a strong contributor to the Club, having held positions on the Club Committee, Club Delegate to the Association, Coach, and volunteer, for all of his 70 years of membership. By profession a builder, he was critical in the construction of the pool, spending most weekends over the 4-year building program to make the idea a reality, and when the Club built the second story Club House, it was Frank that was the registered builder for the construction.
Frank swam at the Club almost every day and often was seen fixing doors, locks, and his particular passion, mending lane ropes. While not an active playing member at this time, Frank engaged the young pool staff in conversation and remained connected and committed to improving the Club.
The Members of the Club, past and present send our prayers and thoughts to Frank’s wife Fay, and his children Stacey and Dale.
Vale Frank Widdicombe, rest in peace.