Sculpture presented to celebrate life of former Academy teacher

James McKervill (Chairman of the Board Of Governors, Ballymena Academy), Heather Bothwell, Laura Noble,. Jean Noble,
Fergus Emmett, Alice Emmett, Tara Emmett (grandchildren) and Stephen Black (Principal) with the sculpture of Darwin presented to the school in celebration of the life and work of former Academy teacher, Frank Noble by his wife. (Submitted Picture)
James McKervill (Chairman of the Board Of Governors, Ballymena Academy), Heather Bothwell, Laura Noble,. Jean Noble, Fergus Emmett, Alice Emmett, Tara Emmett (grandchildren) and Stephen Black (Principal) with the sculpture of Darwin presented to the school in celebration of the life and work of former Academy teacher, Frank Noble by his wife. (Submitted Picture)

The wife of a former Ballymena Academy vice principal and Head of Biology, Frank Noble, has presented a sculpture to the school in celebration of his life and work.

Mrs Jean Noble presented the bronze sculpture of Charles Darwin to the school on Wednesday.

Mrs Jean Noble and Alice Emmett unveil the sculpture of Darwin at Ballymena Academy  watched by Tara Emmett and Miss Elizabeth O'Kane. (Submitted Picture).

Mrs Jean Noble and Alice Emmett unveil the sculpture of Darwin at Ballymena Academy watched by Tara Emmett and Miss Elizabeth O'Kane. (Submitted Picture).

The Bronze is the work of the award winning painter and sculptor, Elizabeth O’Kane, a former pupil of the school.

Receiving the gift on behalf of the school principal Stephen Black expressed his gratitude to the Noble family for their generosity in presenting such a beautiful work of art and a fitting tribute to Frank Noble.

Mr Black noted that Mr Noble had given many years of invaluable service as a highly respected member of the school community, both in his capacity as a Vice–Principal and also as a teacher who had inspired to so many pupils and colleagues through his tremendous subject knowledge, his energy, enthusiasm and innovative style.

Mrs Noble described how ‘like Darwin, Frank took a great interest in geology. He also enjoyed philosophy and loved classical music – he greatly valued literature and art in general. This sculpture of Darwin as a young man will help to bridge the gap between the Arts and the Sciences, which Frank was always very keen to do.’

She added: “As a former pupil I would like to think of this gift as a celebration of the work of all Academy teachers, past and present, as well a celebration of Frank’s work.”

Mr Black said the school is equally delighted that the sculpture, which will reside in the Biology Department at the school, is the work of a former pupil, Elizabeth O’Kane whose work is exhibited both nationally internationally and includes public commissions such as a sculpture of the world famous Irish Tenor, Count John McCormack, displayed in Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens, a bronze of rugby legend Dr. Syd Millar (purchased by the IRB for their art collection in world Head Quarters, Dublin), the champion Irish Greyhound, Mick the Miller, a sculpture of Dr Garret FitzGerald commissioned by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Ireland.