Plus - Appreciation

A doctor who had his heart in public service

Dr. Hugh Cecil Dias

It is just over a year ago that Dr. Hugh Cecil Dias passed away, but the memory of him is still fresh with his family and friends. We miss him greatly.

Cecil came from a prominent medical family in Colombo. Early in his school career he developed a strong interest in horticulture, but eventually followed in the footsteps of his brothers and qualified as a medical doctor.

After his initial hospital training, he joined the Colombo Municipal health service. His mission was to serve the local community. He could have joined the lucrative private sector, but his allegiance was to the public health sector.

He rose rapidly in the municipal health service. His administrative skills were recognised early and he was appointed head of the Colombo Municipal Dispensaries. Here he did a thorough job of keeping the books clean and avoiding the pressures of big pharmaceutical companies. He had a good future in health administration.

However, mindful of his growing family and the uncertainties prevailing in Sri Lanka in the Seventies, he decided to seek safer pastures and emigrated to London, at an age when most doctors are planning for their retirement. He started hospital practice once again, with courage and determination.

He then entered the field of family practice in London and became a popular doctor with his patients and his partners. Cecil was the ideal family practitioner – never in a hurry and always concerned about his patients, and explaining their health problems in simple terms. This fitted in with his soft-spoken, patient nature, and his conscientiousness.

After retiring from family practice, he devoted his time to his family and close friends. He and Genevieve raised a close-knit and devoted family that has been a second family to us. Cecil’s children have inherited Cecil’s and Genny’s kind, humble, considerate and unassuming ways.

Their home has always welcomed us. Cecil would entertain us with his charming smile and ready wit. We will miss his kind and gentle ways. He was such good company.

May his soul rest in peace, safe in the arms of his Saviour.

Dr. S. De.S

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