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Obituary: Anthony J Harding (1944-2018)

The Institute received notification recently of the death on 14 April of Life Member Anthony (Tony) J Harding, aged 73.

Anthony J Harding

Tony commenced full-time laboratory work in May 1961, at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children on Hackney Road, East London, subsequently registered as a student member of the Institute in October 1963, and passed the Examination for Ordinary Membership in 1964. He then achieved Institute Associateship in 1967, following success in the Final Examination in Haematology, and gained Fellowship in 1971 after success in the Final Examination in Parasitology.

During his career, Tony served as secretary of the Institute’s Cleveland branch and North region before his election to Council in 1986, on which he served until 1992. During his two three-year terms, he was a member of a number of Institute standing committees, including Finance, Science, Publicity and Management. Tony was particularly astute in matters of revenue generation and laboratory management, and was a longstanding chairman of the Management Advisory Committee. He was awarded Institute Life Membership in 1999, shortly after retiring from his post as Divisional Manager of Pathology at South Tees NHS Trust in Middlesbrough.

Tony was a keen gardener, particularly in the Japanese style, and had a love of classic cars, especially the Marcos that he and his wife, Brenda, restored. History was also close to his heart, and this was manifest in his interest in local Teesside history as well as that associated with the professional body to which he had devoted much time, both before and after retirement. Tony’s interest in Institute history dated back to 1978, when he joined the History Committee (then Historical Section), acting as its chairman from 2008 to 2014. He was also a founder member of the Medical Sciences Historical Society.

In the run up to the Institute’s centenary in January 2012, Tony, David Petts and Brian Nation were approached by Alan Potter (then Chief Executive) to consider writing a new book charting the Institute’s history. Several years of intense research, investigation, travel and writing followed, and Letters of Consequence: A History of the Institute of Biomedical Science was delivered to the Institute’s office in late November 2011.

The size and content of Tony’s professional file at the Institute’s office is testament to the commitment, dedication and energy that he displayed both throughout his professional career and into retirement. He will be sadly missed as a friend and colleague, and a source of wise counsel.

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