Ernst Vierkoetter (1901-1967) of Cologne, Germany, on 30 August 1926, had become the fastest person to cross the English Channel – beating all others by almost two hours with his France-England time of 12:40. A record that was to stand for another 20 years before it was broken
Vierkoetter, the son of a German baker, was 25 years old. His coach was Erich Barensche. He had lost an eye in an accident when a child
In 1927 he went to Toronto, Canada, to compete in the Lake Ontario race and never left Canada
He had attended Koln (Cologne) University for two years where he had been studying for the Ministry. He was an excellent linguist and was fluent in three Languages (German, French, English), as well as having an excellent grounding in Greek and Latin.
It was neither his swimming nor his music that interrupted his university training. The interruption became necessary when his father suddenly died and it became necessary for Ernst to manage the family bakery business while his older brother continued in a lifetime career of music. His bakery experiences were not wasted, as Ernst became an expert pastry chef and throughout his life applied his skills in the family kitchen.
Ernst and his wife, Else, became Canadians around 1930. He decided to take up residence in Toronto, and, among other things, he bought a home and educated his daughter to be a doctor. Both Ernst and Else became active members in their (Morningside) Presbyterian Church in Swansea, with Ernst serving as a Church Elder and in teaching Sunday School.
He and his wife are buried in Park Lawn Cemetery in Etobicoke