Around the Isle of Man, from hospitals to parks to libraries, the name of Henry Bloom Noble is commemorated in recognition of his place as a revered benefactor who bestowed his vast fortune upon the people of the Island.
These memorials to his generosity were on the itinerary of Nick Noble, a descendant of Henry, when he visited the Isle of Man to soak up the atmosphere and learn more about his family’s illustrious history.
During his visit Nick learned about the Henry Bloom Noble Healthcare Trust, which carries on the aim of investing in healthcare and ensuring the provision of high quality care in the Island, and was shown around some of the locations bearing the Noble name.
Nick’s connection is traced back to Henry’s grandfather, also called Nicholas. Henry was a shrewd businessman who made his millions in mining, banking and property industries and it seems the Noble spirit of entrepreneurship has continued: Nick is a senior business consultant for an international digital marketing corporation which has been named the most innovative technology company in the world by Forbes magazine for the last four years, shaking off competition from giants such as Amazon and Unilever.
Alex Bell, a third year undergraduate who researched the history of the Henry Bloom Noble Trust as part of the charity’s 125th anniversary in 2013, showed Nick around a few historical points of interest, including the original Noble’s Hospital (now the Manx Museum), which opened in 1888 at a cost of £20,000, bequeathed by Henry, and the Villa Marina, once Henry’s luxury residence.
The Trust was established in 1888 following the death of Henry’s wife Rebecca, and continued its work following his death in 1903. It was responsible for countless benevolent developments during the 20th century, including playing fields, a home for orphans, a nurse’s home and the second Noble’s Hospital, on a site in Westmoreland Road, and after becoming the Henry Bloom Noble Healthcare Trust in 2003, it continued to provide for the Island community. It was key in the development of the current Noble’s Hospital in Braddan, as well as children’s hospice Rebecca House, named after Henry’s wife.
Today it continues to invest in improving healthcare through the provision of equipment, training, research and assistance to the sick and infirm. Noble’s original endowment is long gone, so the Trust relies on donations and bequests.
Nick said: ‘Seeing the Noble legacy was thrilling, especially the pavilion just round the corner from my B&B, Noble's Hospital and walking around Noble's Park. I'd like to think Henry Bloom Noble would have approved of the company I work for, Salesforce, a world-leading software company that's spearheading a business revolution in cloud computing. He'd have probably been an early venture capital investor.
‘I loved the island, especially the people, and next year I'm planning to bring my father and brothers along to do some more research on Henry. I was very pleased to the Henry Bloom Noble Healthcare Trust is continuing his legacy by supporting healthcare provision in the Island all these years on.’
Trust Chairman Larry Keenan said: ‘I’m very pleased Nick was able to visit the Island and see landmarks which still bear his family name. During his tour with Alex he was able not only to see what Henry did during his lifetime, but also hear about how his spirit of giving lives on through our Trust.’
The Henry Bloom Noble Healthcare Trust relies on donations and bequests from the public. If you would like to support the Trust, visit the website www.hbnhealthcaretrust.org.im, email email@example.com or call 616108.