One of the recurring pleasures I have in life is coming into contact with people who knew my late father. He had been a family doctor for more than 40 years and had selflessly ministered to the needs of a close-knit community throughout that time.
Having a relatively unusual surname, I am asked by people whether or not he was any relation and inevitably, upon hearing that he was my father, they launch into stories about how he had helped them – and usually their family. The stories of impact are even stronger from those who worked with him – especially young doctors who came into contact with him as trainees. It often transpires that he has had a seminal impact upon those individuals who used him as a role model and exemplar upon which they based their own future behaviour.