Son’s tribute to professor who died saving brother

THE son of the man who died trying to save his brother in difficulties off Preston Beach last week has paid a fond tribute to his father. Chris Beling, a professor of physics at the University of Hong Kong, suffered heart failure as he swam out to rescue his younger brother Jeremy from the sea on June 18.

His brother survived but Chris, 54, was pronounced dead at the scene, despite efforts to revive him by his teenage daughter Cathy and paramedics.

An inquest will not be held as the death was by natural causes, according to the coroner’s office.


Professor Beling leaves a widow Evelyn, daughter Son's tribute to professor who died saving  brotherCathy and son John.

He was the son of retired Paignton vicar David Beling and his wife Anne.

The funeral service will be at St Paul’s Church in Preston today at 2pm. Friends and family from across the world are expected to attend the service of thanksgiving followed by interment at Torquay Cemetery.

Professor Beling was educated at Torquay Grammar School and won a scholarship to study physics at Keble College, Oxford, from where he graduated with a first-class honours degree.

He later moved to Hong Kong and took a post as assistant professor at the University of Hong Kong where he spent 23 years.

Son John, a second year physics student at Liverpool University, said: “My dad not only taught his students with passion, but also wanted them to think critically and challenge their beliefs concerning matters of science and faith and their relationship with Christianity.

“My dad became very interested in the theory of intelligent design, which is the assertion or belief that physical and biological systems observed in the universe result from purposeful design by an intelligent being rather than from chance or undirected natural processes.

“He always tried to voice his opinion on the subject and try to bridge the gap between Christianity and science, believing that science and Christianity were not in conflict with one another. He added: “We have received many messages and phone calls after the news of dad’s death reached his students. They all said what a passionate professor and lecturer he was, and how much they appreciated his openness for discussion inside and outside lectures.

“My dad always made time for his students and sometimes there would be very little family time together. But when we did have it, we appreciated the time we had with him.

“He loved us so much because he really always had our best interests in mind, and always told me the importance of making time for others. He told me to continue to fight for freedom of thought in the scientific community.

“My dad saw no conflict between science and Christianity. He loved Jesus with all his life, and even risked his life to save his agnostic brother. Read more.


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