Tribute to Sir Rob Fenwick

It is with great sadness that The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ pays tribute to Sir Rob Fenwick, a former trustee and Chairman and much respected supporter of our work who passed away after a dance with cancer. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Jennie and the whole family at this time of such great loss.

Rob inherited his commitment to eye care from his father, Dr George Fenwick. George was a distinguished ophthalmologist who, along with Professor Gillian Clover, was instrumental in opening eye care services in Fiji in the 1980s.

Rob joined the Board of The Foundation in 2007 and assumed the role of Chair in 2010. Rob only stood down from the role in 2015 when the medical advice was for him to reduce his commitments.

In 2015, The Foundation launched the Mobile Eye Clinic in Fiji. This presented an opportunity to formally acknowledge the three decades of the commitment of the Fenwick family to eye care in Fiji.

Rob was always willing to call an influential contact ‘to move things along a bit’. We often wondered what would happen to our fundraising efforts if Rob lost his phone as it held such an impressive range of contacts.

Rob was always generous in his praise of the efforts of The Fred Hollows team but he never allowed anything less than ambitious targets to be set. We remember one of his most challenging questions to be simply ‘but why wouldn’t we….?’.

Rob’s contribution was significant and always delivered with his characteristic smile and good humour. The Foundation is most grateful and was indeed privileged to have been served by a person of Rob’s calibre, influence, tenacity and courage.

Kua hinga te totara i te wao nui a Tane

A mighty totara has fallen in the forest of Tane. But the Fred Hollows Foundation’s forest will forever be richer for it.

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