Harry Getz

 Cape Town's Pier Head Swimming Club - 1929, with Gladys Ingelby, Harry Getz, Fatty Berkowitz, Ray Wyner, Milly Matthews, Leon Sacks, Ivy Jones, Leon Klaff, Harry Immelman.

Harry Getz, president of the South African Amateur Swimming Union and a three-term executive member of International Swimming Federation (FINA), was South Africa’s ambassador to the world sporting community.

Getz served swimming in many roles for more than 40 years. Beginning at the 1948 Olympic Games, he officiated in swimming and/or water polo as timekeeper or referee at every Olympiad until his death. He was named chief judge of Swimming at both the 1964 Tokyo and 1968 Mexico Olympic Games, despite the exclusion of South African athletes
from both quadrennial events.

When he was not officiating, Getz was often a radio or television commentator on swimming, water polo, and soccer events, including the Olympic Games of 1948 and 1952.

“Hurry” Getz, as one South African sportswriter dubbed him—attributing the nickname to Getz’s constant globetrotting—held many key positions in South African sports, including pre–World War II secretary and post-war chairman of the Water Polo Olympics and British Empire Games Association, and president of the Water Polo Association of South Africa.

In 1954, he was appointed to the FINA International Technical Swimming Committee, a selection that made him the first South African to ever serve on a FINA committee. From 1960 until his death, Getz was an executive member of FINA. From 1957 to 1960, he served on FINA’s International Water Polo Board.

An outstanding swimmer and water polo athlete himself, Getz was a Western Province Curry Cup (national championship) competitor from 1928 to 1934.


Cape Town Attorney Harry Getz

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