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Peter Mallory's Blog

By pmallory - Posted on 03 February 2011

3 February 2011

A great man passed away today. Hart Perry was a fellow member of the Friends of Rowing History, but that was just the beginning. He has been the heart and soul of the National Rowing Foundation, the body that funds our National Teams. He created the NRF Hall of Fame and the collection of historic shells at Mystic Seaport. He was the long-time coach of Kent School, only the third in its entire history. And he was a good husband to Gillian and a good friend to me amongst a world full of others in our family of rowers.

Ironically, Hart took sick on the very day less than two weeks ago when he was given the FISA Distinguished Service to Rowing Award at a gala banquet at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames in England. And I was there! Hart and I spent a precious hour alone together in the hotel lobby and on the bus to the banquet. He was already doubled over in terrible pain, but he had come to Britain for a single day just to receive his well-deserved award. He toughed it out, received the award and then he was rushed away.

As I watched him leave, I had a terrible foreboding. Yesterday, the welcomed news came out that he was recovering. Today came the news that Hart had rowed his last race.

My heart sank. It reminds me that an increasing number of my collaborators have not held on long enough to see my book published. Nothing has motivated me more in recent years than an individual telling me, "Hurry up! I won't be here forever." You can just imagine how relieved I am that we now have a publishing date. October, 2011. Let's hope that Hart is the last to leave us in the intervening months.

R.I.P. my good friend.