Harold Fern30 September 2019
- Born: 20 April 1881
- Died: 21 August 1974
Harold Fern devoted 70 years of his life to administration roles in swimming – and held key roles in all the major organisations associated with the sport.
Such was his contribution to the Amateur Swimming Association, its headquarters in Loughborough were named Harold Fern House in recognition of his dedicated service.
Fern was a keen sportsman with an interest in running, rowing and football – as well as swimming.
His continuous service to the sport began in 1905 when he was named Honorary Secretary of the Southern District of the Amateur Swimming Association of England. From then on, he served in key roles for the Amateur Swimming Association, the European Swimming League (LEN) and FINA.
He was an elected member of the FINA Bureau from 1928 to 1960, acting President and later President from 1934 to 1958 and Honorary Treasurer between 1948 and 1960.
Fern was also president of the European Swimming League (LEN) between 1935 and 1939, honorary treasurer from 1948 to 1956 and a Life Honorary President until his death on 21 August 1974.
For almost 50 years, he worked tirelessly as honorary secretary of the ASA, leading the organisation through its 100th anniversary celebrations in 1969.
Fern was also treasurer of the British Olympic Association for 14 years.
He was honoured for his services to the sport by both King George VI and, when he retired, Queen Elizabeth II.
Fern was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1974.