February 2024
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Saigon Kids™ Stories: Cercle Sportif Diving Tower Unchanged in 56 Years

Submitted by Gene Taylor (ACS)

Cercle Sportif Saigon swimming pool diving tower. Circa 1956.

Cercle Sportif Saigon swimming pool diving tower. Circa 1956. Gene Taylor collection.

I have been in contact with Gerald Morin — a Saigon Kid.
Cercle Sportif Saigon swimming pool diving tower.

Cercle Sportif Saigon swimming pool diving tower. Circa 2013. Gerald Morin Collection.

I sent him some photos of when we were both in Saigon.

Our paths crossed in school in 1956 and 1957. We don’t remember each other but we recently exchanged some photos.

Here are 2 photos of the Cercle Sportif swimming pool. One is in 1956 and the other was taken by Gerald in 2013.

As you can see the diving board/platform frame is exactly as it was 56 years ago.

The cross-members, the steps, etc. have not changed in over half a century. Well, except for a paint job or two.

It must have been very well made.

4 comments to Saigon Kids™ Stories: Cercle Sportif Diving Tower Unchanged in 56 Years

  • There are some pictures of the pool (slideshow) and diving board still intact in the http://www.saigonkids.com website of the 2009 Saigon Reunion. However, there is a “Kiddie” pool that has been built next to the pool that I don’t remember it being there in 1959-1963.

    • I’ll bet you don’t remember about the kiddie pool because those weren’t the bikini-clad bathers you were interested in, Roy! 😉

      The kiddie pool was at the end opposite the diving platform, of course, behind a low wall that separated the kiddies from the rest of us.

      Last week I shared with Bob that I have begun to look at the four large scrapbooks that my late mother had put together (in the 1970s) with oodles of memories of our year (1960-61) out to Saigon and back home. And your question about the kiddie pool is easily researched by looking in them. (And as I look through them, and find things of general interest, I’ll provide items to Bob for inclusion on this blog.)

      Stuffed in one of the albums is a copy of the 1960 Revue Cercle, a special issue of what I gather may have been a magazine for members, published by the Cercle Sportif. In an article entitled “Notre Piscine,” there’s a picture captioned “Notre petit bain pour enfants.” In the article is a paragraph that says (thanks, Google Translate!), “Our little Cerclists growing in numbers, we thought it time to satisfy the wishes of many moms by constructing, about mid-year, a special little pool for the littlest ones. It is about 40-50 cm deep, letting them splash around under the watchful eyes of their mothers, who sometimes join them there in the water.”

      But sitting poolside in the shade and sipping “Limonade” through the old-timey paper straws, Roy, we guys had our eyes on a different contingent of babes. So not remembering about the kiddie pool is certainly understandable, n’est-ce pas?

  • Kerri

    I learned to swim in the kiddie pool, I think 1961. My mother use to laugh…I can’t remember his name but the Frenchman that taught swimming, he use to pull his swim trunks out as to admire his family jewels.

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