My father, Cyril Frain, who died at the age of 91, was a kind man who spent his career in nursing and nursing education. He was influential in nursing education in Bristol and was a member of the General Nursing Council. He believed in promoting the caring aspects of the profession as well as the academic side.
Born in Swinford, County Mayo, Ireland, he was one of five children of George Frain, who worked for the family’s gentlemen’s outfitter, and Brigid (nee O’Meara), a housekeeper to the Bishop of Ahonry. He grew up in Ballaghaderreen.
After leaving school in town, Cyril immigrated to the UK at the age of 18 and initially worked at Harperbury Hospital for People with Learning Disabilities in St Albans, Hertfordshire.
He completed his training as a psychiatrist at Horton Road Hospital in Gloucester and moved to the Frenchay Hospital in Bristol in 1953 to qualify as a registered general nurse. There he met Sheila Walsh, also a nurse, and they married in 1957. They settled in Sea Mills and he worked at Ham Green Hospital south of the Avon River, where he took the little ferry to get to work.
In 1962, Cyril went to Battersea College (now part of Surrey University) for two years to complete the nurse-tutor course. His first job as a nurse was at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. In 1975 he became director of nursing education at Frenchay. This enabled him to buy his first car, a yellow Ford Popular. In 1989 he moved to the Avon College of Nursing and Midwifery and stayed there for five years.
From 1982 he was a member of the General Care Council for eight years. In 1995 the University of West of England awarded him an honorary doctorate.
After retiring in 1994, Cyril and Sheila moved to Westbury-on-Trym and began fundraising for the St. Joseph Nursing Home. He was a prolific reader and lover of bookstores and enjoyed pilgrimages to Walsingham, FÃ¡tima, and Rome.
In 2013, Cyril and Sheila moved to St Monica’s Trust, a large nursing home in Durdham Downs, Bristol. He went on to visit his family by train, travel to Ireland, and travel to London for exhibitions and theater.
Sheila died in 2016. He is survived by her children Dominic, Clare and me and his grandchildren Madeleine and Luke. Another son, Michael, died in 2008.