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Posted: January 21, 2011 1:15 PM - 21277 Hits

Today, 21st Jan 2011 is the 10th anniversary of Bertie, Mark & Emma Fisher's deaths.

Tribute below by Sydney Meeke and Kieran McAnallen was published in 2001.

Sydney Meeke and Kieran McAnallen pay tribute to friend and colleague Bertie Fisher and his family.

Posted: February 4, 2001 3:10 PM

A True friend - in family life, community spirit, business acumen, and sporting endeavour

As close friends and associates of Bertie Fisher and his family, in a personal, business, and sporting context, it has been a most traumatic experience in trying to come to terms with the awful stark reality of the tragic consequences of their helicopter crash.

When the dreadful news of the horrific accident emerged, there was only one place it seemed appropriate to be, and that was as close as possible to our respected friend and colleague Bertie Fisher in what was to be his final hours with all of us.

The palpable grief of that sad and sombre period was all the time compounded by the realisation that Bertie’s son Mark, and daughter Emma, had already died, and his wife Gladys and other son Roy were being medically sustained in their struggle for survival.

The Fisher family as a unit, and as individuals, were something special. Everything that Emma was involved in, either modestly exemplified the goodness in her, or recognised and nurtured the good and positive in others. She had her own personal interests but also enthusiastically participated in the family pursuits and often joined us in the excitement and celebrations of the great rallying achievements of her father Bertie and brother Mark.

Mark, in our experience, was a most likeable young man of exceptional talent and enormous potential. He was inspired by his father in demonstrating a business initiative commensurate with that of a person of much greater experience and maturity.

And that same fatherly inspiration was evident in Mark’s immense enthusiasm and acknowledge skill in the sport of motor rallying which saw him attain a truly remarkable success record for a person so young.

It has been our privilege over almost a quarter of a century to have enjoyed with Bertie Fisher a bond of genuine friendship, not only in a personal capacity, but also in the sphere of sport and business, and in all of these he had been unwavering in his affinity, stability, and principle.

Throughout those years, in our long-standing motor sport sponsorship and car/team preparations, we have been extremely privileged to see Bertie Fisher carry with him, on that enduring trail of rallying success, the ToughMac/Meeke Motorsport business logos with a personal pride and honour that only a man of such unassuming disposition could place in proper perspective.

The phenomenal rallying success accomplished by Bertie Fisher in winning the Irish Tarmac Championship four times; the Killarney Rally of the Lakes a record six times; and the Circuit of Ireland Rally three times, along with may other notable motorsport achievements, is a memory that will be sustained by those of us involved in motor rallying and indeed interested in sport in general. This year’s Circuit of Ireland at Easter, based in his County Fermanagh homeland, is certain to generate unprecedented nostalgia for every participant and follower.

But the greatness of Bertie Fisher extended well beyond the parameters of sport. He and his family members constantly engendered a very positive community spirit in the context of local and national civic responsibility and the real magnitude of his generosity towards those in need is, in each case, known only to the beneficiary involved.

In business management Bertie Fisher had few equals. Maintaining a strong and healthy relationship with his large workforce in Fisher Engineering Ltd, he always had their personal welfare at heart and often discussed his plans for preserving optimum workplace harmony and general job satisfaction.

His additional business interests were no less dear to him. A valued business associate in a significant and ongoing Armagh City project, it is certain the remaining members of that particular consortium, will miss his insightful opinion and assured judgement.

So too will the Meeke Motorsport preparation and maintenance personnel greatly miss the inspiration and satisfaction created by the genius of an exceptional champion rally driver.

The huge and representative congregation of distressed but dignified mourners who attended the Funeral Service at Ballinamallard on Thursday afternoon bade sad farewell to three members of a loving and loveable family.

As Glady’s and Roy strive to recover from injuries sustained in this horrific ordeal they will each remain in our thoughts and prayers as we seek solace from the fact that all of them were close together an harmoniously united in happy circumstances in the days and hours preceding the tragedy.

Our sincere sympathy is offered to the entire family circle.

Sydney Meeke               Kieran McAnallen
and Family                    and Family

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