Obituary: Professor Fred Hollows

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The Independent Online
I WAS a young house surgeon in the early Sixties in Cardiff when Fred Hollows was appointed Senior Registrar, writes Kenyon Jones (further to the obituary by Michael Johnson, 15 February).

This bluntly honest, pipe-smoking Aussie with his prodigious energy and organising ability was quite outside my experience. Stories about him abounded - I could never believe that he had started training in Divinity or that he cleaned his teeth with Ajax, but the former turned out to be true.

Like his namesake Fred Truman, to whom he bore a strong resemblance, his roots were in Yorkshire mining stock and he could be abrasive. One quickly realised, however, that behind the blunt exterior there was a deep concern for his fellow man and the underprivileged in particular.

We lost touch over the years, but I can still hear 'Come on Dad, show us your beady optic' resounding around the out-patient department, as he tried to examine a deaf old Welshman.