Photograph: Werner Schmidt

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Tribute To Hart Perry

As this is the 700th post on HTBS, I thought it should be something special.

Slightly more than a week ago, rowing historians Tom Weil and Bill Miller rearranged some of the artefacts in "Let Her Run", the rowing exhibit in the National Rowing Hall of Fame at Mystic Seaport. One of the exhibit cases now celebrates the life of and good rowing works by Hart Perry, NRF's executive director who was instrumental in getting and opening the Rowing Hall of Fame at the Museum in Mystic, and who passed away in early February this year.

Several times during his lifetime, Hart was honoured by having a boat named after him; the picture in the middle shows Hart on a Mystic Seaport dock by an eight from Stonington High School, carrying his name. The small picture on the right shows Hart in his little dinghy, which he bought from the Olympian oarsman, rowing journalist and writer, and fellow Henley Steward, 'Dickie' Burnell.

Tom and Bill had help from Hart's wife, Gillian, who had gathered some things from Hart's rich and fulfilling career which he so much loved, and, one can say, loved him back. That is, all the rowers and others within the sport whom he had helped and supported, looked up to this unselfish, good statue of a man with warm gratitude.

In the show case, you will find memorabilia from all the corners that Hart had touched with his magic wand: Dartmouth College, Kent School, Henley Royal Regatta, FISA, N.A.A.O., junior rowing, NRF, and the Rowing Hall of Fame, to now only mention a few institutions which have gained immensely from having Hart as a member, and in many cases, their leader.

Tom and Bill have done a great job. It is, indeed, a worthy tribute to our friend, Hart Perry.

As a Henley Steward, Hart met several Royalties, including Princess Anne, the Duke of Edinburgh, and Princess Grace of Monaco (the latter not in this picture).

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