Geoff Harden RIP

I’m not often lost for words, or feel I cannot add a bon mot, but I felt John Baucher’s tribute to Geoff Harden stands alone, and I would like to share it with youGeoff Harden, journalist, broadcaster,music promoter and champion of community arts passed away on Monday morning after falling ill with heart disease and Pancreatic cancer.
Geoff was a leading light in the resurgance of Community Arts in Belfast. He was at the vanguard of a carefully planned and co-ordinated series of intiatives to provide innovative and ground breaking community arts projects throughout Belfast and beyond.
I have posted this image for a number of reasons, Geoff would have spent many an hour in the two nearby bars, Pats and in particular the Rotterdam, that was for so long a cultural oasis in past more troubled times.Geoffs contibutuion to the cultural landscape here is incalulable.
IF (Irish Feeds) might not seem appropriate but seeing as Geoff fed us culturally and intellectually it feels appropriate.Not only that, he helped to feed the minds of countless groups and individuals helping to expand their knowledge, experience, boundaries and horizons.
“If we do this …then we could do that….and if that works out….”
Geoffs gentle manner, experience and knowledge will be sadly missed by all who were fortunate to have come into contact with him.

Geoff Harden


The Funeral Service is being held today at 11AM at Roselawn Cemetry.



Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream–and not make dreams your master,
If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son!

–Rudyard Kipling

  • na

    Miss Fitz,

    I’m sorry but I have absolutely no idea who Geoff Harden is or why he deserves such glowing praise. Rather than generalities can you tell me some of the specifics of his community arts initiatives that attracted such a nice obit? Maybe then I can mourn his passing too.

  • 4 na
  • While we are on the subject of death can we give a mention to Jimmy Hawthorne who has also passed recently.
    Jimmy was BBC controller here during the 80s. He led the opposition to the voice ban and was years ahead of his time in programme making, particulalrly news items involving local people and local issues. He leaves a fantastic legacy, the world of journalism is an emptier place without him.

  • 4na

    Miss Fitz…i think this was a temporary abberation by Na as the contributions are normally lucid and better than most. Na has an interest in trains also I believe…………..

  • Miss Fitz

    Sorry, was posting in a hurry on the way to Belfast Castle for the drive in movie! Thanks 4na for the information, I made an assumption there, but I think its right to mark the passing of people who make such vital efforts to improve and re-invgorate Belfast.

  • Hercules

    I am sorry to hear of this. Geoff Harden was one decent bloke with an encyclopediac knowledge of folk music of these islands(and beyond) and of musicians.

    I remember him in the Sunflower club days and before and after, I remember him organising Belfast Folk Music Festivals and scrabbling for funding and I remember him with his recording equipment capturing unique live performances.

    My sympathies to his family.

    Fond farewells.

  • Hercules

    In part answer to na above. Geoff, with his extensive contacts and enthusiasm, brought/encouraged an amazing array of folk music talent to Belfast in a period before 1994.

    In his understating manner Geoff helped foster cross community contact and understanding.