Robert Buick founded the East Belfast Angling Club in 1972 and has played an active role in club administration and on the bank ever since. Recognising the benefits of all Ireland representation in coarse fishing, Robert and the EBCAC played a major part in the enhancement of the National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland ,NCFFI to the 32-county federation as we know it today. Bound by the rules of the NCFFI the newly formed Ulster Provincial Council was chaired by Robert for over 30 years and he did a wonderful job in keeping it afloat through some of our most troubled times. A passionate volunteer Robert has dedicated many of his years to our sport serving as both an officer and committee member of the NCFFI.
Robert was an active member on the international scene fishing his first World Championships in 1984 on the River Thielle, Yverdon in Switzerland. It was here that Bobby Smithers became World Champion and these were exciting and proud times for all the team members. Robert continued to fish for Ireland at a number of events where he built a huge amount of international experience and was part of a great team who delivered Ireland’s first World Championship event on the Newry Canal in 1982. He has shared this knowledge from the grass roots of coarse angling sport, mentoring and coaching those on their pathway to the world stage with enthusiasm and pride ever since.
His love of the canals saw him regularly travel to Enfield, Edenderry and Prosperous to compete and frame in open competition and festivals. He was also a stalwart of the Fermanagh Classic having fished them all, reluctantly only withdrawing from this years’ event on day one. Robert also championed the development of Mid Ulster’s coarse angling facility on the Lower River Bann at Portglenone and supported the Schools Competition on the venue, but sadly will not be with us to celebrate its growth to a world class angling facility when the NCFFI hosts the 25th FIPSed European Championships at the end of the month.
NCFFI Hon. President Oliver McGauley says:- ‘Robert has been key to the federation dedicating his life to our sport. He served as our chair for a number of years and did a wonderful job in keeping the UCFF afloat and to the fore during the most difficult times. It was a privilege to work with Robert on many angling projects, as a member of the international coarse fishing team and most of all as a friend. This is a sad loss to the angling world but we hope that his legacy will live on.’
A recognisable character on the bank with his cap and pipe, Robert Buick was the gentleman of angling and always available to offer help and advice. A huge advocate for coarse angling in Ireland and he will be sadly missed by all.