When one walks through the Pan-Am Pool, one feels the hand of Vaughan Baird. It is like being guided through Canada’s aquatic history by a person who has experienced it. “This is all Vaughan Baird, you know,” said a friend while watching a Dive Canada competition. “Sure, there are other contributors, but Baird keeps the Hall of Fame alive.” Canada’s Aquatic Hall of Fame is only one of Vaughan Baird’s projects. The administration of sport, swimming and diving in particular, has been as much a part of his life as his successful career as a Winnipeg barrister.
Baird’s accomplishments are many. A founding member of the Manitoba Sports Federation (M.S.F.), Baird drafted the bill for the provincial legislature which formally incorporated the M.S.F. and guided the bill through to the government’s approval. Baird was the founding Chairman of the Canadian Amateur Diving Association, an organization that has produced the likes of the Beverly Boys, Janet Nutter, Cindy Shatto, Nancy Robertson, and Sylvie Bernier. As a member of the facility and sports committees for the Winnipeg Pan-Am Games, Baird fought a successful crusade for the construction of an indoor pool for year-round use... the Pan-Am Pool.
Baird is a founding Director of the Aquatic Federation of Canada, a member of the Canadian Olympic Association (1969-72), a vice-president of the Commonwealth Games Association, and board member of both F.I.N.A. and A.S.U.A.. In recognition of his efforts, Baird was named the Air Canada Sports Executive of the Year in 1971 and was awarded the Silver Jubilee medal and the Order of Canada for his contribution to sport. Baird’s induction to the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame is perhaps his most appropriate tribute. For a man who has spent as much of his adult life ensuring that the feats of others did not go unnoticed, Vaughan Baird’s induction is most worthy indeed.