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Graham Wells MiddletonPrint Page Print this page

18-December-2016
18-December-2016

Photographs supplied by Neil Follett
A monument commemorates Rotarian Graham Wells Middleton, the first person to swim the length of the Murray River. Graham swam the 2366 kilometres over 138 consecutive days in 1992.

Graham Middleton conquered the Murray River as no other human had. On November 30, 1991 he dived from a boat into the cold, clear waters of the Murray River where it is joined by the Swampy Plains river.

The next year, after 138 days of incredible endurance and commitment, he climbed from the wave-lashed water of Lake Alexandrina at Wellington in South Australia. He had become the first person in history to swim the length of Australia’s greatest river.

In the process he raised $100,000 for cancer research and that feat made Graham Middleton the first individual in Australia to raise $100,000 for the cause. In the weeks and months after his swim ended, donations continued to roll in, with the final total topping $200,000.

Mr Middleton was a semi-retired motor dealer and bus proprietor at Corryong when he embarked on his epic journey of 2365km. His motivation was to raise money to help children with cancer. He started his swim on Saturday, November 30, just upstream of the Bring-enbrong bridge. Hundreds of Corryong and district residents were there to see the start. Even world boxing champion Jeff Fenech arrived, via helicopter, to wish him well. Fenech, who was a supporter of the Anti-Cancer Council, said the swim would make boxing look easy.

Mr Middleton made the most of the fast flowing upper reaches of the river, making it to Noreuil Park about 3.15pm on December 9, 1991. The further he swam, the harder it got, with little or no current in the lower reaches, combined with headwinds, slowing his progress. In all, he swam every day for 138 days, averaging 17km a day.

Graham Middleton died suddenly on October 27, 1995. He was at Lakes Entrance in his role as a commissioner with Towong Council. He will always be remembered as the swimmer who conquered the Mighty Murray.
Border Mail, (Peter Wilson), 17 December 2008.

Location

Address:Jardine Street, near corner Murray Valley Highway , Corryong, 3707
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.195584
Long: 147.904341
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Sport
Actual Event Start Date:30-November-1991
Actual Event End Date:14-April-1992

Dedication

Front Inscription
Rotary
International
GRAHAM WELLS MIDDLETON
                 1935 -1995
MIGHTY MURRAY MARATHON SWIMMER
This plaque is dedicated to the memory of Rotarian Graham
Middleton, the first person to swim the length of the Murray River.
Beginning at Bringenbong, near Corryong, on November 30 th.
1991, Graham swam 2366 kilometres over 138 consecutive days
to finish in Lake Alexandrina, South Australia on April 14 th. 1992.
This feat is recognised in The Guiness Book of Records and was
sponsored by the Rotary Club of Corryong, with the proceeds
going to " Kids 'n' Cancer" and the Australian Rotary Health
Research Fund.

 
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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