Ararat - From those who had built the Ararat Outdoor Olympic Swimming Pool 55 years ago, to youngsters who are just learning to swim, more than 1500 people turned out to the Save our Pool Rally on Saturday.
David 'Tas' Young was one of hundreds of volunteers in the early 1950s who spent 18 months volunteering his time to build the pool and was disappointed in Council's decision to close and demolish it.
"It is an error of neglect by the council, it's the only way I can put it," he said.
"They haven't done anything over the years to keep it in a useful condition. Everything that everybody's tried to do to keep it going, they vetoed it and now it's in the condition it's in and they reckon it's going to cost nearly $3 million."
Mr Young has good memories of working on the pool 50 years ago.
"I can remember Saturdays and Sundays down there with four concrete mixers going, we used the old shovel method," he said.
"It took about 18 months to get it going, mostly weekend work with volunteers, and it was getting people available, bricklayers and people like that at the right time, because of course in those times they were going like mad to keep up with the housing because they had government contracts with commission housing and that sort of thing too."
Another long time local, Geoff Smith, remembers attending Olympic pool dances and balls run to raise money for the pool.
"My kids learnt to swim in it and I used to swim in it. I don't see why half that money left to the football ground can't be used on the swimming pool," he said.
While children of previous generations learnt life saving swimming skills in the pool, children of today aren't so lucky.
Ararat Swimming Club vice president Kadina Dalziel hoped the rally on Saturday would make Council sit up and take notice.
"We are hoping it makes a difference, all these people here are hoping Council will take note of this and realise that our town needs this pool," she said.
Mrs Dalziel said having the pool reopen would mean everything to the Ararat Swimming Club.
"We can't be competitive if we don't have a 50 metre pool for the kids to train in, to practise diving in, it's not the same," she said.
"We can't compete against the other teams if we don't have the same advantage.
"We'll either have to travel every week to practise or we'll have to fold and that's not something the community wants. We don't want that either, our kids love to swim."