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Dr Fred Wright - TLM Hero

A photo of an older, white couple laughing together

Dr Fred Wright spent his formative years at Cregagh Methodist Church until his evacuation to Londonderry during the Second World War. After returning to Belfast, he commenced his training in medicine at Queen’s University. He was married to Jean in April 1954 at Knock Methodist Church and this began a long association with the Church, which lasted over 50 years. Fred volunteered for the Royal Medical Corp posted to Singapore. It was here that both he and Jean’s interest in leprosy treatment first developed.

In 1967, Fred was appointed Consultant Radiologist to Bangor Hospital and then the newly opened Ulster Hospital. His assistance was sought by Saint Columba’s Mission Hospital in Bihar India where Fred was asked to oversee the establishment of an X-Ray department. While Fred supervised the construction and helped to train staff, Jean redeveloped the library and created a play area for the children of Hospital staff.

A long association with The Leprosy Mission ensued, with Fred serving as chairman of the Northern Ireland Council (Board of Trustees) for many years. Jean and Fred travelled the length and breadth of Northern Ireland attending fundraising events where Fred spoke about the work of TLM and the development of new treatments and Jean would sing songs of hope and compassion. In the mid 1970s, they persuaded the staff and pupils of Methodist College (Belfast) to raise funds for a Mission hospital in Nepal. A separate campaign, India 8000, was a huge success and managed to purchase two ambulances which were used by TLM for decades!

Dr Fred Wright passed away peacefully in April 2020. He is fondly remembered by the TLM Northern Ireland team.