Eileen Mabel (née Giles) Burke
Born: July 14, 1920 (Sutton-in-Ashfield, England)
Died: May 17, 2013 (Halifax)
Member: Sackville (Nova Scotia) Sports Hall of Fame (2007)
Eileen Burke won eight consecutive provincial waterskiing championships in eight years of competition in Nova Scotia. She utterly dominated the sport in the Maritimes in the 1950s.
She had learned to waterski near the family cottage on Comeau’s Beach on First Lake near Sackville, N.S. In 1957, she got an offer to join the famed Tommy Bartlett Florida Water Ski and Jumping Boat Thrill Show. She declined the invitation. Her son was born four days later. She did not retire from competition until 1960.
The former Eileen Giles immigrated to Halifax from England with her parents at age 2. She worked in the communications office at HMC Dockyard during the Second World War.
Burke often accompanied her husband, Jock Burke, who competed in power-boat races.