Remembering Jack & Marilyn Pomfret

These last six months have witnessed the passing of two revered UBC icons.  Jack and Marilyn Pomfret, who committed decades to the development of Sport and Recreational activity at UBC, are now remembered with both reverence and appreciation.  Their collective contributions have left legacies which are now enshrined in both the UBC and BC Sports Halls of Fame.


The Special Contribution Made to the UBC Intramural and Recreational Program:

There is a special story to be told in Marilyn and Jack’s involvement in the development of the UBC Intramural and Recreation Programs.  It really started with Marilyn who in the late 1960’s and early ‘70’s felt so committed to the merits of Athletic and Intramural activity for women that she urged that both Programs be administered under the Women’s Athletic Committee.  This was a bit of a departure as the Men’s Athletic Committee focused solely on the Men’s Intercollegiate Program while the School of Physical Education and Recreation administered the Men’s Intramural Program.

It was not until 1972 that both Intramural Programs were combined and administered through the auspices of the School.  Marilyn Pomfret directed this amalgamation and she did not stop there.  Convinced that this newly combined program needed a focus, she undertook the sole effort in securing funds not only to create an office for this fledgling program, but to hire its first administrative staff member.  With the prevailing attitudes at the time, this could not have been possible without the dedicated and persuasive efforts of Marilyn.  She was passionate in her determination to give both women and men the opportunity to participate in campus wide sport and recreational activity.

In those early days this combined Program started small, but with Marilyn’s drive, the seeds were sown and the Program has continued to grow and to become the magnificent Intramural and Recreation Program enjoyed today.

In recognition of Marilyn’s steadfast commitment and dedication to the Intramural and Recreation Program, the Marilyn Pomfret Alumni Award was created in 2014 with Marilyn Pomfret being its first recipient.  Every year since, the Award is given to a person who had excelled in their contribution as a volunteer in the Intramural and Recreation Program or who has made an ongoing contribution in their careers or through their involvement in community based services.

Jack Pomfret was also involved in this drive to secure campus wide sport and recreation engagement though his attention was focused on aquatics.  The outdoor Empire Pool obviously did not meet the needs of a growing University campus with its major emphasis occurring over the long and cold winter and spring terms.  An indoor pool was needed and Jack Pomfret was determined to make it happen.  In consort with associates and members of the UBC student body, Jack led a concerted community wide campaign to raise public awareness for  the need of an indoor pool along with the funds required for it construction.  The campaign paid off and the acclaimed UBC Aquatic Centre was opened in 1978.  It is estimated that the number of participant pool contact hours realized over these many years is well into the millions.

The original pool which Jack and others helped build has since been replaced with a state-of-the-art new Aquatic Centre which continues to fulfill what Jack had originally envisioned.

The University today celebrates the memories of both Marilyn and Jack Pomfret and the contributions they made in enriching the quality of life for all its community members and for providing the opportunities for student athletes to excel both nationally and internationally. Marilyn and Jack Pomfret were both very special people and we give thanks.





Their incredible stories can be read in the following two Links:

For Marilyn Pomfret:

For Jack Pomfret: