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Biographical entry Raine, John Wellesley Evan (1919 - 2006)

OBE 1980; MRCS and FRCS 1948; MB BS Otago 1941; LRCP 1948; FRACS 1950.

12 March 1919
Wellington, New Zealand
12 July 2006
General surgeon


John Raine, one of New Zealand's most distinguished surgeons, was born on 12 March 1919 in Wellington. His father John was an importer of china and glassware. His mother was Harriet Eva née Cox. John was educated at Scots College, Wellington, where he was dux in 1933, winnng the Pattie cup for the best all-rounder in the school. He went on to Victoria University, Wellington, where he won his hockey blue, and then to Otago University to study medicine, qualifying in 1941. He was house surgeon at the Wellington Hospital, before joining the RNZAF in 1943, serving as a flight lieutenant in Guadalcanal and Bougainville.

After the war he returned to Wellington, where he was assistant to E H M Luke, before going to Guy's Hospital as a Dominion student registrar under Sammy Wass, Hedley Atkins, Grant Massie and Lord Brock, during which time he attended St Mark's under Gabriel and Naunton Morgan. After passing the FRCS he was resident surgeon at Barnet General Hospital in 1949. In 1950 he returned to Wellington as visiting surgeon and clinical lecturer in surgery, a post he held until he retired in 1980. After retirement he continued as an honorary postgraduate tutor in surgery and director of medical services for the Justice Department for another ten years. His main interests were abdominal and head and neck surgery.

At the Royal Australasian College he was elected to council in 1963, served for 12 years on the court of examiners, was vice president for two years from 1972 and president from 1974 to 1975. As president he conferred an honorary FRCS on his friend, Rodney, Lord Smith of Marlow. In the New Zealand branch of the BMA he was honorary general secretary from 1958 to 1963.

He married Eleanor Luke in 1943, by whom he had a daughter, Rosalind Frances, who became a doctor in Christchurch, and three sons, one of whom, John Kenneth, became professor of mechanical engineering, the second, Anthony Evan Gerald, a Rhodes scholar, became professor of renal medicine at St Bartholomew's Hospital, but died in 1996. His third son, Christopher Taylor, became a paramedic in St John, Southland. His first wife died in 1978 and he married Patricia Mary Cryer, in 1980. A keen sportsman he achieved two holes in one at golf, continued to ski until he required a knee replacement, played fiercely competitive bridge and was a keen gardener. He died on 12 July 2006.

Sources used to compile this entry: [New Zealand Journal of Medicine 2006 Vol. 119, No. 1241].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England