PUT this one down to an ‘only in Fremantle’ moment: a woman who couldn’t swim a stroke to save herself has had a swimming carnival shield named after her.

Former White Gum Valley primary student, teacher and parent Oonagh Kemp died aged 98 last year, and her family approached the school to find some way of commemorating her long association with the school.

Her grandson Jason Meotti, a former Australian Democrats candidate, says his nanna would be tickled pink by the irony of being honoured at a swim meet.

• White Gum Valley faction captains Eli Guidera and Ebony Parker display their new shield, while Jason, Anna and Jack Meotti look on with principal Kevin Donetta. Photo by Steve Grant

“My nanna’s connection to White Gum Valley primary school goes way back to 1925 when she first attended the school — completing her primary schooling in 1931,” Mr Meotti told current students.

After attending Princess May Girl’s school, Ms Kemp attended teacher’s college before returning to her old primary school as a teacher from 1946 – 1957.

Along the way she taught two of her own daughters.

Her great-grandchildren Jack and Anna Meotti, who are Mr Meotti’s kids, also attended White Gum Valley while he sat on the school board.

“So effectively, four generations of our family have been involved with White Gum primary school over a period spanning 90 years,” Mr Meotti said.

“Amazing for such a small but wonderful primary school.”

The inaugural Oonagh Kemp Memorial Swimming Carnival Shield went to Challenger faction, led by captainis Eli Guidera and Ebony Parker.


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