Celebrating Fred’s legacy
Palmerston North Boys’ High School has been praised for keeping the name and legacy of renowned eye doctor Fred Hollows alive.
The thanks came from Fred Hollows Foundation executive director Andrew Bell, while attending the the school’s Fred Hollows Day event in October.
An old boy of the school, Hollows, a renowned ophthalmologist, dedicated his life to improv- ing the eye health of Australian Aboriginal and Pasifika people.
This year marked the 25th anniversary of the foundation set up to continue the ophthalmologist’s sight-saving work. Hollow’s brother Monty, 92, his niece Natasha and nephew Jason also attended the celebrations.
Bell said it was important to say thank you to Boys’ High for its fundraising and awareness efforts, and also to St Peter’s College, another city school committed to supporting the work of the foundation. ‘‘Part of the problem we have is passing on the knowledge of Fred to following generations, and we are grateful to Boys’ High and to St Peter’s for continuing that.’’
He said people who live in Ta¯karo’s Hollows Cres, for instance, may not even be aware that the street was named for Fred.
Boys’ High prefect Michael Ioane said Hollows, who died in 1993 from cancer aged 63, continued to have a big impact on the lives of Pacific people. ‘‘It has been estimated that more than one million people in the world can see today because of what Fred Hollows did,’’ Ioane said.
Ioane said twice-weekly fundraising lunchtime sausage sizzles had proved popular during the past two terms, while teams registered for the Fred Hollows Day fundraising basketball tournament. The boys also got to negotiate an obstacle course while wearing cataract glasses.
Student Oliver Burgess-Hight said the glasses gave an impression of what it was like to have cataracts. ‘‘It completely blurs the vision. You can make out shapes, but all the detail is gone,’’ he said.
City Council planner Keegan Aplin-Thane said plans for a commemorative Hollows mural were well advanced.
Artist Owen Dippie had been commissioned for the project, which could start next year on February 10 - the 25th anniversary of Hollows’ death.
Palmerston North Boys’ High students Nathan Pearson and and Danial Van der Veen with Fred Hollows cataract masks.