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Oldest Games volunteer turns 88 years old today!

17 Mar 06 11:22

Melbourne 2006 logo.17 March 2006

Albert Cymons, from Toorak Victoria and the Games oldest volunteer, celebrated his 88th birthday today with his colleagues and Volunteer Patron Andrew Gaze at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC).

“Today I turn 88 years old, or ‘two fat ladies’, as I like to say, I just feel wonderful,” Albert said.

A huge 15 inch cake in Games colours was presented to Albert as he cried with joy as onlookers sang him ‘Happy Birthday’.

“Albert is an amazing man dedicating himself to the volunteer cause and it was great to be able to wish him well on his special day. I only hope I look this good at 88 years of age!”, Volunteer Patron Andrew Gaze said.

Albert’s 80 year old wife of 58 years, Clare, also joined in the celebrations as Albert soaked up the atmosphere receiving well wishes, kisses and hugs from his volunteer colleagues.

Albert is contributing to the Games as a Spectator Services Assistant at MSAC and enjoys meeting new people and helping them find their way around the Aquatics venue.

Albert has been involved in Swimming for decades, as former president of the Ajax Swimming Club in Melbourne, and vice-president of the Victorian Swimming Association.

“I’ve been involved in sport since I was a schoolboy,” he said. And while his interest was initially in Table Tennis, he switched to Swimming soon after arriving in Australia from Switzerland in 1948 after meeting his wife.

He is proud of his achievements in Victorian swimming so far, which include bringing the 1972 Australian Olympic Team to Melbourne for a major meet before they went to Munich.

He was also part of a group that lobbied the Melbourne city council to save the Melbourne City Baths from demolition. They are now heritage listed and owned an oriental arts store, in Collins Street. When he heard the call for Games volunteers in January 2005, Albert knew he had a lot to offer. “I said to my wife, I’ve got experience and I’m going to apply because they said that age is no barrier,” Albert said.

And it certainly is no barrier for Albert, who will be working almost every day over the course of the six-day Swimming competition.

For further information and photos of today’s birthday party celebrations please contact:

Games Communications Centre
+61 3 8855 3333 / 0439 218 076

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