Our entire community was deeply shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Dr Pat Manson on Thursday, April 26.
Pat was a most dedicated, conscientious, thoughtful and caring GP. The wellbeing and care of his patients was the cornerstone of his professional life and he gave his time unstintingly to the community of Hawick. We know that he felt very privileged indeed to have shared in the highs and lows of the lives of his many patients.
Pat was born in Huntly and educated in Alford before attending Aberdeen University and graduating in 1977.
He worked as a house officer in Aberdeen and then Dumfries where he met his future wife, Lesley, a radiographer. He completed his GP training in Derby and Nottingham, and joined a practice as a partner in Loughborough where they remained for seven years. They longed to return to Scotland and moved to Hawick in 1988.
Pat and Lesley settled in the Borders and shared many interests. He was a proud dad to Clare and Ian, and he took great pleasure in seeing them both develop successful careers. Pat and Lesley recently had the great joy of seeing their daughter, Clare, being married in the Borders with all their family and friends around them.
An enthusiastic GP trainer over many years, Pat cared passionately about the mentoring and welfare of his students, and took a deep personal interest in each and every one of them. He served for a period as course organiser for GP training in south-east Scotland and many young doctors in the Borders, and beyond, have benefited from his teaching and wisdom. He also played a leading role in setting up and supporting CRUSE, the Borders bereavement counselling service.
For the last four years he shared pitch-side medical duties with a colleague at Hawick Rugby Club’s Mansfield Park. This he thoroughly enjoyed, but typically set about this challenge by attending courses and seminars in sports medicine to develop his skills to his own self-exacting standards.
In recent years he also volunteered as medical officer for two expeditions by the Borders Exploration Group to Chile and Norway. Again, his meticulous preparation and care ensured that the young explorers were in the best possible hands.
In spite of his professional dedication, he remarkably found time for many other interests. He was a keen golfer who played to a single-figure handicap when time allowed, and was a popular member at both Hawick and Minto golf clubs. He played table tennis and at one time helped to establish a junior club in Hawick.
On moving to Hawick from Loughborough in 1988, he joined Round Table and made many lasting friendships. He remained an active member of the Association of Ex-Tablers.
He developed an interest in cookery and enjoyed sharing his skills with his many friends to whom he was an amiable and generous host. He also knew his wines and had travelled extensively to Australia, New Zealand and South America in pursuit of further knowledge. Closer to home he enjoyed hill-walking and cycling in the Border countryside.
He was a much-valued friend and colleague who was always acutely sensitive to the needs of others. He took his professional responsibilities very seriously, but ultimately was overwhelmed by his own exacting standards.
We have lost a very dear friend and a truly dedicated doctor.
– C. E. and C. H. O.