A special dedication was made to the late Sir Anthony Hart and Tom Noble at the Enniskillen Royal Grammar School prize night last week.

The President’s Medal, which is normally presented to pupils who have gained honours in the course of the year, was this year dedicated to the memory of the two gentlemen and in recognition of their exceptional dedication to rowing in Enniskillen Royal Boat Club.

During her speech, principal Elizabeth Armstrong paid tribute to Sir Anthony and Mr. Noble.

“The sudden deaths in April of Tom Noble and in July of Sir Anthony Hart were body blows to the Boat Club and to our school community as a whole,” Miss Armstrong shared.

She continued: “Tom, the founder principal of Erne Integrated College and an old Portoran who had taught in Portora, gave his time unstintingly as a volunteer coach working in particular with the junior crews who benefitted richly from his kindly and wise mentoring. Sir Anthony, who died just after Henley where the Club had an excellent run of success, was a stalwart and generous supporter of the Boat Club over many years: he was also a wise and trusted counsellor on our Board of Governors.”

“Both these men are sadly missed from among us and we, together with the Boat Club, honour them this evening as later Zoe McCutcheon, one of this year’s Boat Club Captains, receives the President’s Medal, dedicated this year in their memory and in recognition of their exceptional dedication to rowing in Enniskillen Royal Boat Club,” the principal added.

Both Gareth and Gavin Noble, sons of the late Mr. Noble, attended the prize night as guests of the school.

“We are very grateful to the school and all associated with the boat club for the award of the President’s Medal in the name of our much missed and very loved Dad and Sir Anthony Hart. Both men were passionate about rowing. The continued development and success of the club and its young rowers from across all the schools in Fermanagh was a source of great pride for them both,” Gareth told this newspaper.

Lady Hart, wife of the late Sir Anthony added: “Tony loved rowing, his school and his town and would be proud to receive this medal with Tom.”

Speaking to The Impartial Reporter following the school’s prize night, Miss Armstrong said: “We were pleased that members of Sir Anthony Hart’s family and the Noble family could join us at the prize giving. On the evening we presented the medals in memory of those two gentlemen to one of the Boat Club captains. It will be hung up in the Boat House as a lasting memorial.”

Prior to the prize night dedication, Enniskillen Royal Boat Club paid tribute to Sir Anthony and Mr. Noble. David Storrs, President of the Boat Club had presented this year’s medals to the Club at the annual President’s prizegiving at the Irish Rowing Championships in Cork in July in memory of the Club’s former President and coach. The two medals and photos of Sir Anthony and Mr. Noble along with a short tribute were framed and placed on the wall in the Robert Northridge boathouse on the morning of Saturday, October 5 after training. The tribute read: “The 2019 President’s Medals were presented to the Club in memory of two wonderful Clubmen and dear friends, Sir Anthony Hart and Tom Noble.” Sir Anthony had himself designed the new Enniskillen Royal Boat Club’s President’s Medal earlier in 2019.

In a further tribute, Iain Kennedy and Robert Northridge alongside Derek Holland, Barney Rix, the rest of the coaching staff and some of the rowers planted a beautiful Copper Beech tree for many future generations of rowers at the Club to enjoy.