Arthur Lewis, Queen’s rowing ‘Blue’ died on 14 May 2020 at home in the Napa Valley, California at the age of 86. Arthur was the younger brother of John Lewis, captain of the boat club in 1953. The two brothers were born in Swansea and Arthur spent the first 15 years of his life there before moving to Belfast where he attended the Royal Belfast Academical Institution.
Arthur learn’t to row at school and when he came up to Queen’s he joined the Boat Club a decision he later considered to be one of the best he was to make in his life. He read Chemistry and graduated with a BSc in 1955, and later a PhD. On graduation he went to Cornell University, then two years later, to Oxford University for further research which dominated his life thereafter. When he finished at Oxford he returned to New York where he lived for five years. In 1974 he moved to California and joined the McKesson corporation, possibly the largest pharmaceutical distributer in the United States. He retired as president of the international division and he and his wife Angela went to live in the Napa Valley, California.
On joining the boat club at Queen’s, he rowed at 7 in the 1952 Maiden VIII (now renamed Club 1 ) and the following year he rowed in the Intermediate VIII at 7, sitting behind Michael Thomas, another Welshman. In 1954 he rowed at 3 sitting behind his brother John. In 1956 Arthur was at 3 in the Senior VIII, a crew that won the Irish Senior championship. They also competed at Henley Royal Regatta. This was one of the best Queen’s crews possibly of all time. In 1957 Arthur rowed at bow in the Senior VIII – a fast crew but lacking power in the later stages of a race. In that year he was also in the Ulster crew in the Irish Interprovincials, rowed through Dublin on the lower Liffey.
Arthur is survived by his wife Angela who shared their travels far and wide and they lived in a fine house in the Napa Valley in California. He remained, though, a keen supporter of the Boat Club, a rowing ‘Blue’, a loyal Queensman, and member of the Lady Victoria Boat Club. He rowed for most of his life, including for Belfast Rowing Club in the Head of the Charles in 1994 and when age finally caught up with him, he donated his scull to a charitable rowing club in San Francisco.
(Arthur LEWIS: 27 December 1933 – 14 May 2020)
Dr Ivan Nelson