David Wright ‘was so special’

David Wright with a disabled orphan, Jimeya, in Africa, in 2004

David Wright with a disabled orphan, Jimeya, in Africa, in 2004

First published in News
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A “special” man who devoted his retirement to helping transform the lives of disabled youngsters in East Africa has died.

David Wright, the father of Terrorvision lead singer Tony Wright, who lives at Oldfield, was a production engineer.

He died on New Year’s Eve in Eritrea, Africa, at the age of 75.

Members of the Rotary Club of Bradford Blaize, where Mr Wright was a member, paid tribute.

Club member Alan Arthur said: “David was a very special person who will be greatly missed.”

Following his retirement in 1992, Mr Wright – who used to live at Shipley – went on a volunteering assignment to Eritrea to teach engineering.

Mr Arthur said: “When this ended after three years he decided to stay on in what was a war-torn country and devote his energies to improving the lives of the impoverished nomadic people in the North of the country.

“In 1997 he founded the Tigre Trust with financial support from The Rotary Club of Bradford Blaize, support which has been maintained to the present day.”

Money raised by the trust enabled Mr Wright to get involved in water improvement projects, investigations into congenital abnormalities, and facilitation of medical treatment for people in remote areas.

Mr Wright lived with his Eritrean wife Ruta and two sons, Philemon and Michael.

Mr Arthur said: “From his modest home, he travelled through hostile mountainous and desert territory to visit the northern nomadic tribes where he assessed the medical conditions requiring attention.

“Then he liaised with visiting groups of medical staff from western Europe who were based in the capital city, Asmara, to see if they would provide free medical treatment for these nomads.

“Finally, he arranged transport of the patients to Asmara where they received appropriate treatment.

“In many cases the patients’ recuperation took place in his own home before he returned them to their families in the North of the country.”

Mr Arthur said Mr Wright was known as Dawit Dehan to his Eritrean friends, and added: “The work of the trust will now almost certainly come to an end with David's passing since, although he had a few voluntary helpers, he was the founder and sole driver of an enterprise which provided hope, alleviation of suffering and succour for many hundreds of the poorest people in this part of Africa.”

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