Awarded Life Membership 11 October 1980
Birth: 28 August 1912, Watford England
Death: 28 October 1996, Sydney NSW (84 years)
Sydney ‘Syd’ Grange was born in England and moved to Australia with his family when he was just nine months. He grew up in Five Dock near the Parramatta River which is where he learned to swim and also began his administration career as the 17-year-old honorary secretary of the Abbotsford Swimming Club.
After a stint as assistant registrar at the NSW Amateur Swimming Association, he became Vice President of the Australian Swimming Union between 1963 and 1968 and was an honorary director until 1979.
At the international level, Grange served as an Executive Board Member of the International Swimming Federation (1964-1984) where he was Vice President from 1972 to 1984.
Syd was devoted to the Olympic movement, serving as honorary secretary of the NSW Olympic Council (1948-1972) and was a member of the Australian Olympic Federation Board from 1959-1985, Vice President from 1972-1977 and President from 1977 to his retirement in 1985. He was also a member of the Organising Committee at the Melbourne Games in 1956
During his time as AOF President he combined with Secretary-General Julius (Judy) Patching developing a formidable combination.
He was the Australian swim team Section Manage at the Helsinki 1952 Olympic Games, Chef de Mission and General Manager of the team to Rome in 1960 and Director of Administration at the Tokyo 1964 and Mexico 1968 Games.
Syd was a long serving member of the Australian Commonwealth Games Association Executive Board (1969-1980).
Outside of sport, during World War II he served with the Royal Australian Airforce in northern Australia. He also served as an alderman with Manly Council in Sydney.
Syd Grange retired from the NSW Premier’s cabinet in 1974 to devote himself full time to Amateur sporting Organisations. (CGA Archive / Getty Images)
For his service to sport he was awarded the Order of the British Empire – Officer (Civil) (Imperial) (OBE) in 1957 ‘In recognition of service to amateur sport’; the Royal Victorian Order – Members of the Fifth Class (Imperial) MVO) in 1970 ‘For service during the 1970 Royal Visit’; an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1984 ‘In recognition of service to sport’; and was a Life Member of the NSW Amateur Swimming Association (1956), NSW Olympic Council (1980), Amateur Swimming Union of Australia (1976) and Australian Olympic Federation (1978
He is the only Honorary Life President of the Australian Olympic Committee (1983), was awarded the International Olympic Committee Olympic Order in 1985 and became a Sport Australia Hall of Fame General Member in 1989.