Michael Bailey’s father, Robert, emigrated to South Africa in 1913, having qualified in medicine at Trinity College, Dublin. He settled in Mafeking, where he was a general practitioner, and Michael went to school at King Edward VII High School for Boys in Johannesburg. He went on to the University of Cape Town to study medicine, undertaking his clinical studies at the Groote Schuur Hospital. In addition to his medical studies he was a keen sportsman, obtaining blues for boxing and rowing. He was also a fine golfer.
Soon after graduating he joined the South African Medical Corps and served throughout the Second World War, mainly in Egypt and Italy. On return to Cape Town he spent a short time at the Somerset Hospital until his appointment as medical registrar to the Groote Schuur Hospital. In 1949 he married Annelise Wicht, daughter of a farmer, and they subsequently had four children. Two years later he came to the UK for postgraduate study and obtained his membership of the London and Edinburgh Royal Colleges. He then returned to South Africa and went into private practice in Cape Town, with special interests in diabetes and hypertension. He was appointed a consultant physician to the Groote Schuur Hospital and to the Victoria Hospital, Wynberg, in 1955, and held these posts until his retirement in 1985, during which time he was elected to the Fellowship of both the Royal Colleges.
Mick, as he was known, was a pleasant colleague, hardworking, loyal and reliable, and always ready to help in emergencies. His clinical judgement was sound and he was an excellent teacher, much appreciated by his students and very popular with his patients.
Being a man of even temper, genial and courteous, he had a wide circle of friends and was a devoted family man. The family had a holiday retreat at the Breede River mouth, where they went fishing, rowing and boating. He also enjoyed mountain climbing and walking, and had a collection of succulent plants. A keen reader, he was well informed about early South African history. One of his four children, Martin, is a paediatrician in Cape Town.
S J Saunders