Jason Zirganos, The Mayor of Folkestone (Charles E. Neate), Sam Rockett

Major Jason Zirganos The Mayor of Folkestone (Councillor Charles E. Neate)

Butlin’s International Channel Swim 1954, Leas Cliff Hall Folkestone, Kent. The Mayor of Folkestone (Councillor Charles E. Neate) presenting Major Jason Zirganos of Greece with a trophy, The Lady Mayoress and Sam Rockett in the background.

 Major Jason Zirganos of Greece swam in “The Daily Mail International Channel” race on August 22nd 1950. He was placed 7th with a time of 16hrs 17mins. He landed in Dover Harbour.

In 1951 he swam in the “Daily Mail Festival of Britain Race”. He was placed 13th with a time of 14hrs 10mins.

In the 1954 race Major Jason Zirganos finished in 5th place, his time 16hrs 53mins. In the 1955 “Billy Butlin Cross Channel Race” he was unsuccessful, swimming for 12hrs 47mins, and again in 1959 when he swam for 14hrs and 11mins.

In 1959 he attempted the North Channel (Ireland to Scotland) and  he swam for 16hrs 23mins. and was 3 miles from the Scottish Coast when he was taken from the sea exhausted. He died within minutes. A Doctor performed an emergency operation with a pen-knife but could not restore the heart-beat.

Sam Rockett swam in the 1950 Daily Mail race and was the fourth man to finish. He was Supervisor for the 1951 Daily Mail Race, an International race held in the “Festival of Britain year” and was also supervisor for the Billy Butlin races from 1953 to 1959, and the Sir Billy Butlin long distance walk from John O Groats to Lands End.

He played County Water Polo for a number of Counties. He was author of the book “its Cold in the Channel”

From the Sam Rockett Collection. A Black and White Photograph.

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