Topic: Professor Fred Hollows (1929-1993)

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Professor Fred Hollows (1929-1993)Fred Hollows was at Tauranga Hospital from 1958-1959. It was here that he made his first significant move towards becoming an ‘eye doctor’. He had completed an ‘eye term’ as part of his medical training, and the Eye Surgeon Dr R.E Tingey at Tauranga Hospital let him assist with his operations. Within a year, Fred knew how to remove a cataract safely.

After deciding that he was interested in eye surgery, he took a position at Wellington Hospital as an Ophthalmologic Registrar. In 1961 he went to Moorfields Eye Hospital in England to study Ophthalmology. He then did postgraduate work in Wales, United Kingdom, before moving to Australia in 1965.

He went on to become an internationally acclaimed eye surgeon and social justice activist who championed the right of all people to high quality and affordable eye care.

The Fred Hollows Foundation was set up in 1992 and carries on Fred’s work in 30 developing countries across Asia, Africa and the Pacific.

The work of the Foundation restores sight to the needlessly blind and trains local eye health specialists to provide eye care services in their own communities. In the last five years alone, the Foundation has performed nearly one million sight-restoring operations and treatments and trained more than 38,000 local eye health specialists.

Fred Hollows died in 1993 in Sydney, Australia at the age of 63. 


Recollection of Roie Kingan (Ball), Registered Nurse, Trained 1954

Fred Hollows was in Tauranga for a short time as a registrar. I have one funny memory of him. He always wore a blazer and he smoked a pipe… we were in Ward 1 that night and someone suddenly said, “Oh I can smell burning!” and of course there was panic stations. Suddenly Fred put his hand in his pocket and, oh his pipe hadn’t gone out it was burning a hole in his blazer! 

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Professor Fred Hollows (1929-1993)

First Names:Fred
Last Name:Hollows
Date of Birth:April 1929
Date of death:February 1993