Elizabeth Swan

Elizabeth Swan

Pioneer of figure skating in Newfoundland and Labrador and synchronised skating in Canada

The Elizabeth Swan Award was created by the the President of the Canadian Figure Skating Association, Bruce Miller, and the first recipient was announced at the AGM in St. John’s, Newfoundland in May 1985, just three months following Elizabeth’s tragic and untimely death. Doug Steele, who later became President of CFSA, was the winner of the first award. Marion Dyke, Elizabeth’s daughter, presented the plaque to Mr. Steele in behalf of her mother and the Swan Family. A comment from Mr. Steele, in 2007, gives insight to the high esteem Elizabeth Swan holds in the skating community, “It was a moment I will never forget and the plaque still hangs prominently on my personal ‘wall of fame’ in the basement gamesroom.”

A short biography

  • Native of South Australia  born Feb 19, 1924
  • Moved to Cartwright 1952 with dentist husband  cared for 42 children at Lady Lockwood School and dorm. Of Grenfell mission.
  • Moved to Clarenville 1953  on Clarenville Athletic Recreation Association  discovered there was little organized sport for girls  after enquiring about different sports she moved to create Flying Blades FSC in 1964-65  third club in province (first outside St. John’s)
  • First president of club
  • Nfld’s representative Atlantic Section  1965-66
  • 1st Nf/Lab Section Chairman 1966-68
  • 1st promotion as judge 1966
  • Organized first provincial championships 7 Dec. 1968 in Clarenville
  • Organized first educational seminar (skate-in) Sept 1974
  • Organized 1st provincial skater¹s development seminar June 1977
  • Provincial National Skate test Chairman (3 yrs 69-71)
  • Promoted gold dance judge 1974
  • Promoted gold figure judge 1975
  • Test and competitions referee
  • Promoted section accountant 1967
  • Amateur coach 1966
  • Incorporated Section 1977
  • Chaperoned National Winter games, Divisional and Canadian Team on several occasions
  • 2nd term Section chair 1969-71
  • 3rd term section chair 1975-78
  • Served terms as vice chair 1968-69, past chair 69, 69-71
  • Promoted figure skating 1965-78 throughout Nf and Lab. 22 clubs organized and 7 other centres contacted
  • Served on National Board 1967-70 as a member of sections committee and NST rep from Nf/Lab
  • Served on National Nominating committee 1968
  • Elected to National Board 1977
  • Appointed National Sections chair 1977
  • Served on National Membership committee 1977-78
  • Between 1978-80 as National director chaired a committee to establish a precision skating framework for Canada
  • Served on Winter Games committee 1977-78
  • Served on planning committee 1977-78
  • Served on National NST committee 1969-71
  • Served on Nf/Lab Sports Federation Inaugural Constitution Committee
  • Killed Feb 25, 1985 on way driving home to Clarenville in snow storm having attended Provincial Championships in Labrador CityBursary fund set up to established Elizabeth Swan awards for grass-roots skaters  preliminary to juvenile – decided by regional competition placings and given out at beginning of Provincial championships yearly – 3 per region

    National Volunteer of the Year – posthumously 1985

    Sports Hall of Fame  Nfld/Lab 1986

    Senior Female Athlete plaque for NF/LAB  Elizabeth Swan Memorial Plaque

    Elizabeth Swan Memorial Award  1985  annual national award to precision skating volunteer

    1995: Inducted into Canadian Figure Skating Hall of Fame

    Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame page

    Skate Canada Hall of Fame page

    Compiled by Marion Jeans

    Mrs. Figure Skating – Elizabeth Swan 1924-1985 By Darcy MacRae The Independent (June 2005,reproduced with permission)