This week’s trophy race is for the coveted Arthur Kerslake trophy. It is awarded to the swimmer who most improves their handicap over 1500m (30 laps).
Arthur Kerslake opened his Mosman chocolate shop at the Spit Junction in 1912. Locals loved Kerslake’s chocolates that were made on the premises. His coconut ices were also all the rage. Arthur was following in his father’s footsteps. Arthur Kerslake senior owned another chocolate shop in Mount Street, North Sydney. In 1904 the family were members of the North Sydney District Swimming Club, one of the oldest swimming clubs in Sydney. The club held its first annual carnival at the newly opened Spit Baths on March 2 1901. The family transferred their allegiance to the Spit when it was established. Arthur served on the Committee of the men’s club with Forbes Carlile during the Second World War and Arthur’s son George also served as a member of the Spit Digger’s Club.
Mosman library has one of Kerslake’s chocolate boxes in its local studies collection and three oral history interviewees from Mosman Voices record their love of Kerslake’s chocolates here:
Annual Report of the North Sydney Swimming Club, 12th October 1904, Mina Wylie Papers 1872-1938, ML MSS 5078 (10) File 3, State Library of NSW.
Spit Club Minute book 1943, Mosman Local Studies Collection