Veteran Black medical specialist Dr Robert Ogilvie dies at 84


By Lincoln DePradine

Dr Robert Ogilvie

Representatives from the medical fraternity will join members of the community in paying final respects to a veteran Black medical specialist Dr Robert Ogilvie, who worked for more than four decades at Humber River Regional Hospital (HRRH) in Toronto.

Ogilvie, who was an ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeon, died at the age of 84.

A visitation for Grenada-born Ogilvie will be held Thursday, November 3, at Kane-Jerrett Funeral Home, 6191 Yonge Street, from 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm. His funeral is Friday, November 4, 11 am, at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, 140 Brooke Street, Thornhill.

Ogilvie was “quite an incredible guy in terms of how he treated his patients’’, said friend George Griffith, who both were members of the Toronto Alumni Association of the Grenada Boys’ Secondary School (GBSS).

The association, in statement of condolence, expressed its “sadness’’ at losing Ogilvie, saying he was “a proud alumnus of the Grenada Boys’ Secondary School and “a well-respected’’ ENT specialist physician.

“He was the first president of the association when it started in ’93. He was always one of the most active people in the association,’’ said Griffith. “In fact, the first meeting was held in the basement of his house, and the second meeting was held in my house.’’

Ogilvie, after graduating from the GBSS where he excelled at cricket and in academics, enrolled in medical studies at the Mona Campus of at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica

While at UWI, he was granted a Rhodes Scholarship to study in the United Kingdom at Oxford University.

Ogilvie later moved to Canada, where he established himself as an outstanding ENT specialist doctor.

Staff at HRRH, on Ogilvie’s retirement in 2011, described him as “always singing, smiling and whistling, while delivering extraordinary care and compassion to patients’’.

His career, they said, was marked by “surgical success’’ and a “remarkable dedication, professionalism and gentle nature in healing others’’.

During his HRRH stint, Ogilvie completed a term as chief of surgery and also was an Ontario Medical Association representative.

“Dr Ogilvie is one of the kindest and most committed doctors I know,” Cathie Watts, HRRH operating room clerical associate, commented on Ogilvie’s retirement. “He provided care to all four of my children and his singing and whistling created a warm and inspiring work environment.”

Ogilvie is survived by his wife Hazel, children and grandchildren, and other relatives.