Development & Alumni Relations Office 


Basil McNamee MB, BCh, BAO, FRCP (Died 18 April 2020)


Obituary provided by classmate and friend, Dr Mark Reid


Basil was the youngest of three brothers (Cecil and Derek) all born in Donemana, all Queen's alumni who also went to Foyle College in Londonderry. He excelled in cricket, playing for the Donemana team as an adolescent in the North West Senior Cup finals. He also played at this time for the Ulster and Irish Schools teams as opening batsman.


This aptitude in cricket and also rugby was shown at Queen's when he captained both these sports for the University. He studied medicine and on qualification trained in the Belfast City, Whiteabbey and Royal Victoria Hospitals. In the latter with Professor Frank Pantridge who mentored him in his chosen speciality of cardiology, with whom he remained a firm friend.


During this time, he met and then married Carol a fellow Belfast graduate; they had three lively sons, Peter, Andrew and Michael. They then moved to Dungannon, Basil being consultant physician before eventually becoming Director of Acute Services and a final move to Craigavon Hospital. Sadly, Carol died shortly after his retirement, and he eventually moved to Bangor.


The family had thrived in Dungannon, being involved in the local sporting, educational and political scenes. On the cricketing field Basil shone, playing over three hundred times for the town side, being especially proud of the day when all three sons and he played together on the winning side. Also during this period, he ascended to the heady heights of the presidencies of both the Northern and Irish Cricketing Unions. He particularly enjoyed being present at Ireland’s victory over England in Bangalore!


Basil will be remembered, aside from his sporting achievements and honours, as a person of great determination who cared deeply for his family, his patients and the society in which he worked to improve. He enjoyed meeting his sporting colleagues and friends. This was exemplified by his good humour and his pride at being a true 'Ulster Irishman' - never happier than when singing Percy French ballads into the early morning at the Class of 62 medical reunions (he helped to organise a dozen of them over the decades) or after a winning game on a Saturday night in Dungannon.


More latterly, he found great companionship with Dorothy, with whom he shared common interests in walking, the countryside and current affairs. She selflessly helped in his care in the last few months of his illness.


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