I was deeply moved and saddened to hear about the sudden demise of my one and only uncle, professor Frederick F. Fenech.
Although I was aware of his poor health, having visited him only recently, I was taken aback to hear this news this week, since I always hoped that he would pull through. But it was not meant to be, for the Lord called him in.
With tears in my eyes, I write this memorial and recollect my dearest uncle, this man of all seasons, this man that had a good word for everyone, this man who was loved by all the nation and beyond its shores, this man who held the medical profession so close to his heart.
I have so many wonderful loving memories of my youth, when I used to go out with my uncle as a very young girl accompanying him on his many ‘konsulti’ all over the island and clearly remember his patients speaking so highly of him and showering me with gifts.
I used to feel so proud that I was his niece and that he used to choose me to accompany him on these visits, which inevitably used to end with a visit to the Wimpy, where I would be entertained with a knickerbocker glory.
I remember when I used to go and visit him in his humble house of Santa Venera and later on in his beautiful home in The Gardens. I remember spending days in summer with him in Gozo in Marsalforn and visiting him in Xemxija. Although he was not much of a boater, I also remember his little boat Masu berthed next to Beachaven.
He was also so caring for the family and was so proud of us all. Having lost my dear father 28 years ago, he was like a second father to me and to my siblings. He fathered us for so many years. He was always there for us all and was always ready to help us all in whatever we needed.
He would always listen to us and give us courage to pursue our dreams. He was a very good listener and always gave us great words of endearment. Always ready to listen to our stories and mishaps and get involved in our conversations. He was very kind and ready to give us advice and face the world with courage. He had great faith in me and my siblings.
During my growing up years, he was my pillar of strength and it always felt so good that I had my Uncle Fred to fall on whenever I needed any advice as to how to tackle problems. He was very assertive and always gave such good advice and direction to me and my siblings in different ways. He instilled security and confidence in us all.
My dear Uncle Fred was a brilliant professor who taught hundreds of medical students. He had an outstanding reputation in the medical field of Malta and beyond its shores. He spent over 50 years in hospital practice – and academic medicine in Malta and abroad.
He held the position of Dean of the University of Malta Medical school and after retiring held the position of Chief of the Department of Medicine. In addition, he was a United Nations representative of Malta and a consultant for international initiatives.
He was a pioneer in the establishment of the University of Kuwait Medical School and gave board exams for the Royal College of Surgeons throughout Europe and the Middle East. He was also the first president of the Malta Red Cross Society.
Besides his wonderful and brilliant career, as one of Malta’s fore founders of the medical profession, he was such a family person. The most doting husband to my aunty Maryrose and loving father to his two children Josanne and Thomas.
My mother Marguerite was blessed to have had him as a brother-in-law. He never failed her and remained caring for her till very recently. She was blessed with his attention and dedication. He was also an exceptional brother-in-law to my departed father Joe, I never recall one difference between them, they were truly soul mates.
He was so proud of his two children, all his grandchildren and great-grandchild and always spoke so highly of them. Indeed, he was a very special uncle. He was a very busy man but always found time to spend precious moments with his wife, children and all the members of his extended family.
He was a true gentleman, a man of great principles and with an outstanding character and personality. He was stern though had a caring heart.
While sending my sincere condolences to my aunt Maryrose, his children Josanne and Thomas and their respective families, I am sure that by now Uncle Fred has already started to enjoy the Kingdom of heaven together with my late father.
May he rest in peace!
Consuelo Scerri Herrera
Prof. Fenech’s funeral mass is being held today, October 14, at 1.30pm at St Julian’s parish church.
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