The man credited with building competitive swimming on P.E.I. has died.

Barney Bree, one of the mainstays of swimming on the Island for about 25 years, died on Wednesday of chronic lung disease.

"He is really the founder of modern swimming on P.E.I.," said Dan Hurnik, president of Swim PEI.

"Barney was instrumental in both the Charlottetown and Montague clubs and then later as an official. And as an administrator he really kept the sport going."

Bree was on the P.E.I. coaching staff at two Canada Games, was a swimming official at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, B.C. and held a position on the national board for several years.

Swim PEI even had an annual award named after Bree that went to the swimmer who best demonstrated leadership, fair play and sportsmanship.

Bree was also heavily involved in the growth and success of the Culinary Institute in Charlottetown.