Frederick Fenech, former dean of medicine and renowned physician, has died aged 87.

He passed away on Saturday and his funeral is on Thursday.

“I remember my father running from one village to another to visit patients and speak to other doctors,” his son, ophthalmologist Thomas Fenech told Times of Malta.

“He was not only dedicated to medicine, but also to his patients, with whom he would spend long hours talking. Even after he retired, he loved to invite them over to his office to speak to them.”

“My father did not have many hobbies, he dedicated all his time to his love of medicine,” Fenech said. 

“The one hobby he did have was when he was younger, he collected stamps, but only medical stamp collections.”

Born in 1934 in Birkirkara, Fenech’s life work revolved around medicine. In 1955, at the age of 21, Fenech qualified as a medical doctor, one of the youngest doctors to qualify at the time, his son said. 

He furthered his studies in general medicine in the United Kingdom, and in 1970 was elected a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of the American College of Physicians.

Fenech was appointed senior physician and professor of medicine in 1974, a post he held until 1977, the year of the notorious doctors’ strike. During that time, Fenech took up a post as the first medical professor at the University of Kuwait.

He returned to Malta in 1987, taking up the post of professor of medicine, and also served as the dean of the faculty of medicine. He held these positions until he retired at the age of 66. 

But his medical work continued after his retirement and between 1991 and 2001 he was the president of the Malta Red Cross Society, being one of the founders of the group.

The volunteer group passed has expressed condolences.

“He led by example and humanity and also volunteered passionately within the society. His dedication, commitment and hard work did not go unnoticed as he proved himself to be an inspiration to all volunteers and staff alike,” Red Cross said.

In 2001, he was appointed director of the International Institute on Ageing, a post in which he served two terms - from 2001 to 2007. 

Fenech was also the uncle of Culture Minister Jose Herrera, who described him as a "second father". 

He was a member of the National Order of Merit and a magisterial knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. 

Fenech's funeral cortège leaves St James Capua Hospital, Sliema at 1pm, for St Julian’s parish church, where Mass præsente cadavere will be said at 1.30pm, followed by interment in the family grave at the Santa Maria Addolorata Cemetery.

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