Development & Alumni Relations Office 

Samuel Anderson (died 1 December 2015, aged 84)

Obituary by Dusty Anderson

My brother Sam died on 1st December, just a few days short of his 85th birthday. He was the fourth Captain of Lady Victoria (from 1957-1959) and will be fondly remembered by older Lady Victoria members as a coach, especially of Novice crews. He started rowing at Coleraine Inst., came up to Queen’s in 1948, stroked a successful Intermediate Eight in 1949 and rowed 2 in the 1952 Senior Eight which won the Big Pot. His rowing career was interrupted by increasingly strident demands from his father to do more medical studies and less rowing. This led to one peculiar announcement at the Wylie Cup regatta in 1955 to the effect that the stroke of the Intermediate Eight (J. Anderson) was the brother of P. Murray-Smythe, the stroke of the Senior Eight (this being Sam’s pseudonym to evade his father’s eagle eye).

I think Sam’s interest in coaching started in 1954 when he coached the Novice Eight I was stroking. Despite the fact that we were a very light crew – the cox was heavier than three of the crew – we won quite a few races and reached the final of the Novice Championship. Having got a taste for it, he went on, with Harvey Jackson and Frank Boyle, to coach a succession of Queen’s Novices who dominated their division in the 1950s, 1960s and into the 1970s. At last the demands of fatherhood, domesticity and his job as model maker in the Ulster Museum made coaching impractical – but whether his crews won or not, those he coached enjoyed their rowing and retained a great enthusiasm for the sport. 

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