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Grant McBride. Grant McBride.
12 April 2018 Posted by 

Grant McBride's legacy to be preserved

THE legacy of one of the coast’s most popular MPs is to be preserved with a Central Coast Council decision to rename the ocean pool at The Entrance the Grant McBride Baths.

Mr McBride, who died on February 12 at the age of 68 following a battle with Alzheimer’s, held the state seat of The Entrance for the Labor Party from 1992 until his retirement in 2011.

The decision has delighted his wife Barbara and eight children, particularly daughter Emma, who followed her father into politics and is the Labor MP for the federal seat of Dobell.

“I have so many happy memories growing up of family days spent at The Entrance beach and swimming at those baths,” Ms McBride said.

“In fact, one of my last memories of Dad involves them. When he was ill, one of the few things he could still do was swim, but not in the open ocean.

“He could still swim in the pool, where he had enjoyed so many happy hours, and he and I swam there together not long before he died.

“The pool was always a very special place to Dad.”

In fact, it is largely due to Mr McBride that families can still enjoy the baths today.

In 2002, when he heard the future of the pool was at risk, he started a petition to save it and collected more than 10,000 signatures.

The baths were heritage listed the following year and, following an overhaul and upgrade funded by (then Wyong Council and the state government, were officially reopened by then Premier Bob Carr.

“When Dad was well he was a proud member of the Tuggerah Tuffs, who still swim there every Sunday, and was always determined that the pool be preserved as a safe swimming place where families could spend countless hours for free, just as we did,” Ms McBride said.

Mr McBride enjoyed a distinguished political career, being appointed Minister for Gaming and Racing in 2003 and Minister for the Central Coast in 2005.

“Dad’s early life wasn’t easy,” Ms McBride said.

“He grew up in public housing under difficult circumstances, but he was always all about doing things for others.

“Largely because the Labor government of the time abolished university fees, he was able to qualify as an engineer and I think that’s when he first realised what a difference good government decision could make.”

But it was after working as an electorate officer for the late Gough Whitlam that Mr McBride decided to run for public office himself.

“Dad so admired Mr Whitlam,” Ms McBride said. “He was impressed by how much he was able to transform and reform in such a short time as Prime Minister.

“He always saw being elected as an MP as a privilege and never stopped fighting for his constituents.”

Ms McBride said the family had been elated at the news to rename the baths.

“It was unexpected but wonderful,” she said.

Current The Entrance state Labor MP David Mehan has also welcomed the decision.


Michael Walls
P: 0407 783 413
E: Michael@accessnews.com.au

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