I would like to contribute a message of condolence

Messages 1 to 20 of 116

Written for the November 2017 issue of the Hong Kong Medical Diary, a monthly publication of the Federation of Medical Societies of Hong Kong, partly excerpted here to represent my own voice in remembrance of our beloved Prof Sir David Todd:

... Sir David’s retirement years can roughly be divided into two phases. The first phase consists of those years in Cambridge catching up with his second love (medicine being his first love): love of music, with regular travels to music festivals in Continental Europe, while staying connected to medical reading and peer education in the nearby hospital. ...

The second phase of Sir David’s retirement consists of the subsequent years after his return back to Hong Kong. His home-coming represented the completion of a full circle of his life, settling back in Hong Kong his motherland. During this phase, he remained a loyal advocate of HKU and of undergraduate and postgraduate medical education, being readily involved
as honourable guest in the Faculty of Medicine-wide events and in the annual scientific meetings of the HK College of Physicians. I once jokingly called him a social butterfly as I bumped into him in many university and medical functions. But quite the opposite of a
social butterfly, who is present at social events for self-promoting
causes, Sir David was there selflessly to show his support to and dedication for HKU Medicine and the College. He kept his presence unremittingly and tirelessly although physically he was getting weaker and weaker. To stay physically strong so as to meet the demands of his social commitments, he made regular visits to the pool with discipline.

Residing in the HKU quarters, his heart once again became intimately entwined with the pulse of the university and the Faculty of Medicine. He was always mentally toiling over the future of the university, especially when the university suffered setbacks or major adverse events. He showed encouragement and
gave much-treasured advice to medical leaders, who were his mentees so that these leaders could continue to strive for the good of the university and community. He is the man behind many great leaders of the current era.

In his private life, he continued to demonstrate zest for life despite faltering health from ageing and from ailments. One would visit him at his home and the first thing one would be met with upon door opening would be the tunes of classical music infusing his home. He has a heart for beauty and for China, choosing to visit
the most scenic places of Mainland China, including Jiuzhaigou, Huang Shan and Guilin, where his interest in photography would drive him to “jump” up and down for scenic capture. He never missed the Hong Kong Arts Festival, especially its operas, even when it means taking a seat high up in the balcony.

He was also a collector of Chinese antique, but his purpose of collection was not so much in the monetary value of antique items, but to “show off” the items as a stern reminder of our painful Chinese history (and reminder of not treading back to that painful past), such as his collection of an opium-smoking pipe from the
Opium War times.

In the face of his fragile health during this phase of his life, he insisted on being dignified and self-contained, refusing to take any offer of help for granted, and always being mindful of not imposing burdens or inconveniences on others. Despite his ongoing struggle with illnesses one after another, he seldom complained about them openly, keeping the discomfort and worries of the illnesses all to himself rather than pouring any
untoward feelings to his friends.

All in all, Sir David is an icon not just in medicine but in all aspects of his life. He is the embodiment of multi-cultural heritage: his love and compassion for humankind, for medicine and for music took after his western missionary foster parents, his mastery of and leadership in clinical and academic medicine took after his British mentor cum giant in medicine (hence giant breeding giant), and his 憂國憂民 came from his deep Chinese roots and wartime tribulations. His life history is utterly unique, reflecting the tumultuous modern Chinese history and bearing personal witness to and being an amazing amalgamation of the East meeting the West. His vast professional achievements are the pride of Hong Kong. More importantly, his gentlemanly demeanour and his multi-faceted human and humanistic touch has touched many hearts and impacted thousands who had crossed path with him. He will always be sorely missed and fondly remembered by us all.
Jane Chun-Kwong Chan
UMU 1985-2003

You are respected by many, as you deserve to be. But to those of us who love you as well, you can never be replaced.
Like a cloud, alone, you wandered off; - To where? I do not know. –
Left me, a wild-goose parted from its flock. So where, I now should go?
君似孤雲何處歸 我似離群雁 (周紫芝 – 卜算子)
Chan Hong-Mo

It was the example of the scholarly attitude of Professor Todd which inspired me to pursue an academic career in medicine. It is fair to say categorically that I owe him my entire career.
David Yu
1966 graduate

you are one of the few person whom I respect most.
thomas yue






林兆鑫,揩 Winnie
Lam Shiu Kum

Dear Professor Todd (Sir David), I have been so fortunate being one of your many students. Your soul touched us all. Your gentle and warm smile as well as your serene yet authoritative voice will always be fondly remembered.
KM Chu 朱建民
Class of Medic 87

Professor David Todd will always be remembered in my heart as an excellent teacher, a great physician and an outstanding scientist!! He has contributed tremendously to HKU as well as the Hong Kong society.

Professor David Todd is a great teacher. He is an inspiring, gentle and friendly doctor. An exemplary figure to all of us.
Dr. Joseph Chan Woon Tong
MBBS 1975

By doing what you love, you cured and awakened the lives of many others.

Thank for your part in my journey, Professor Sir David Todd!
Pierre Chan
Medic class 2000

I knew Sir David only 27 years - from a first visit as an external examiner in Medicine just after he retired. But it was a joy that seven years later he moved to Cambridge for 10 contemplative years of continuing achievement. David's love for Hong Kong, and the Art and Science of Medicine, burned brightly every day: that so many outstanding doctors across the city (and abroad) always sought his counsel, is but one tribute to his greatness. Music, that most abstract of Arts, was David's other love. One treasures those intense conversations and historic piano and voice recordings exchanged: indeed it was no surprise that as a hard-pressed young doctor even one with academic duties, that the young Dr David Todd proved to be a naturally refined critic and music correspondent (writing under a pseudonym in those days, I believe, to escape the attention of his seniors).
It was typical of David, that even when frail and when later doomed by a condition he understood only too well, he remained dignified and self-contained. I join countless people of all ages scattered far-and-wide, who will miss his conversation, and his thoughtfulness, deeply. In sympathy with his family and those who mourn, my wife and I offer heartfelt condolences; we also marvel at the altruistic richness that David brought to this world in victory over his own harsh beginnings and the cruel events that he had witnessed. David Todd was truly a person of the most profound humanity; and it was fortunate that in visiting Hong Kong I could see the interactions with his wonderful colleagues and begin to appreciate just how much he had achieved. His legacy, led by that personal example, will be of lasting value - and is everywhere to be seen.
Timothy Cox
Friend from Cambridge

You are a great teacher who inspired in us the scientific means of medicine and the humanistic ways of its execution. You are the true example of our everlasting aspiration in the practice of medicine.
Cheng Chun Fai

You will be remembered as one of the best teachers in medicine, an excellent doctor and the Founding President of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine. You are a role model for lifelong commitment to medicine. Even long after your retirement, you were still closely following new developments in medicine and actively involved in nominating orators for the David Todd Oration of the HKAM each year.

May your soul rest in peace!
Ignatius TS Yu
MBBS 1978

It is with great grief we learnt of your leaving us. You are the most respected teacher and role model in the school of medicine. I still vividly remember the ward rounds and grand rounds where you set standards and morals for our clinical learning.
You will always be in our hearts!!
Iris Kin Chun Lau

Prof Todd has shown us how a doctor should be. He is a gentleman, righteous and has set an extremely high standard in the profession. We all miss him. Rest in peace and best wishes to his family.
Lee Kim Hung

My heart was gripped with sorrow and words cannot describe the pain of separation on that day. Your last portrait stayed with me for a long time when we met again in the Academy lounge in May, 2017.
You are always a great teacher, a scholar and a gentleman, who inspired many of us to teach in universities, to research in medicine, and to treat patients with hearts. Today, I still remember the physical signs you taught us in evening rounds in QMH. Personally, you are my favourite teacher in HKU and set the role model for a good doctor. Professor Todd, the seeds you sowed are growing everywhere around the world. If each of your students saves a hundred lives a year, you can stand proud in heaven as your spirit in us will never die, but keep growing with time.
God bless your soul. Amen.
Cheung Kam Lau

We shall miss a great teacher, a good friend of my family especially my late father Henry Fook Kuen Li.
David , you are the icon of excellance of the medical profession, the creator of the Academy of Medicine and a great supporter of family medicine. You will remain in our hearts for ever.
Donald Li

‧ 醫學院的達教授是對學生嚴肅,對病人慈祥的權威人物;
‧ 九三年香港醫專初成立,註冊程序未能制度化。冒昧求教,他嚴謹和耐心的提點、支持和鼓勵,令我的海外訓練得到平等的對待。九五年成功加入本港專科名冊,更於九七及九九年成為倫敦院士和英國歐盟專科醫生;
‧ 兒子○三年進海外醫學院,教授所做的超越希伯克拉底誓言所云:「我會視老師的兒女為自己的兄弟,如需指教,我將無償及無條件地向他們傳授」,於劍橋設午餐為他一一提點;
‧ 我不過是醫學界微不足道的小人物,所受的恩惠如此豐厚;教授對眾多學生的付出,實非常人可想像;
飛射在漆黑的地上。 (《鐵匠》劉半農)」


Prof. Todd has shared with us his knowledge and vast experience in his teaching during our student days and when I was a specialty trainee. His fatherly figure is unique, with his kindness, patience, gentleness, and smiles on his face.
We are all lucky and blessed to have him as our teacher in medicine and life.
He is always in our heart.
Yeung Yiu Ming Dominic

Professor Todd, a master clinician, an outstanding teacher, a life long mentor, and a gentleman. Your contributions to the University of Hong Kong, to medicine and to all of us that you taught and mentored is a tribute to you.
Christina Wang

Dear Professor Todd

Your gentleness, kindness and soft-spoken words will be dearly missed and I am so honoured to have been one of your students. You will always be remembered.
Eudora Chow

Online Condolence Book Messages of Condolence Memorial Service