Sat | Aug 19, 2017

MVP's Noel laid to rest

Published:Wednesday | December 14, 2016 | 12:00 AM

David Noel, one of the founders of the MVP Track Club, was laid to rest last Saturday, December 11, with his colleagues singing his praises and reflecting on his contribution to athletics in Jamaica.

Noel, who was club secretary emeritus at the time of his passing, was hailed as being crucial in the club's development by coach Stephen Francis. The coach was among those packing the Church of the Ascension in Mona, where the thanksgiving service for Mr Noel's life was held.

A native of Trinidad and Tobago who came to Jamaica to attend the University of the West Indies, Noel later taught at Wolmers' Boys School where he joined Francis, Bruce James and Francis' brother Paul to form the MVP in 1999.

"David Noel was very important both in the Wolmer's programme when I was at Wolmer's coaching, and when I left there and began to focus on MVP and UTech," Stephen recalled. "He was also very, very crucial."

ATTENTIVE TO DETAIL

Remembering Noel as attentive to detail, the coach said, "He supported me in a lot of what I did but there were times when he would say, 'No, no, I think we should do it this way'".

"It was proven over the years that you should listen when he said no," he added.

Brigitte Foster-Hylton, the 2009 100m hurdles world champion was also in attendance and described Noel's death as a big loss.

"He's one of the founding members and I must say contributed to my professional career," she remembered. "He'll always be in my heart, and I truly miss him."

James, the club's president, told the congregation that Noel bridged the gap between success and failure. James recounted Noel's love of track and field which saw him watching and working as an official at meets all over Jamaica.

Asked for his presiding memory of his friend and colleague, James said, "The fact that, in his strong, silent way he was able to influence the MVP's direction and by influencing MVP, he therefore influenced Jamaica's track and field direction without needing any fanfare or any praise."

Mr Noel died at age 80 after a long illness.

- Hubert Lawrence