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Brian Heron

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Brian Heron, who has been a member of HLSC for nearly 70 years and was a past Commodore, died this morning in Rochdale Infirmary after a short illness.  Brian was 83.

Brian joined HLSC very shortly after it was founded back in 1946.  He was a very accomplished sailor, a good team racer and was the Firefly national champion four times and won the Gore three times at a time when there were about 200 Fireflys at the championships.  In later years, when the Firefly fleet at Hollingworth Lake dwindled away, Brian then transferred his talents firstly onto the Merlin Rocket fleet and finally ended up owning a GP14.   He served the club well, not only as the club’s Commodore between 1969 and 1971 but as our Hon Treasurer, one of the club’s trustees and he was also on our Management Committee for a long time.  At Management Committee meetings, when the committee was getting bogged down in argument, Brian always seemed to have the uncanny knack of succinctly summing up the issue and steering the committee towards the correct decision.  In 2004 Brian was appointed a club Vice President.

Away from HLSC Brian had a very full life.  After obtaining a degree at Cambridge University, Brian worked for Turner and Newall where he moved up the management ladder until, eventually, he was appointed Chief Executive of TBA Products.  Following his retirement from TBA Brian became involved in public service.  He was founding chair of both the Rochdale Training and Enterprise Council and the Rochdale NHS Trust, assuming national responsibilities in the health service.  He was Pro-Chancellor of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology from 1990 to 1996.  He then became Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lancaster, serving as Chair of its Council from 1997 to 2003.  In 2003 Brian received an honorary degree (Doctor of Laws) from the university.

There will be a further e-mail sent out to all members once Brian’s funeral arrangements have been finalised.

On behalf of the Club, our thoughts and support go out to Margaret, Joanne, Michael and the rest of their family at this very difficult time.

Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club