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Biographical entry Graham, Norman Garrick (1932 - 2010)

MRCS and FRCS 1963; MB BCh Otago 1956; FRACS 1962.

15 December 1932
Palmerston North, New Zealand
25 February 2010
General surgeon


Garrick Graham was a consultant general surgeon in Huddersfield from 1967 to 1993 and chairman of the Huddersfield NHS Trust for many years after 1992 and into his retirement.

He was born in Palmerson North, New Zealand, on 15 December 1932. His father, Cecil Davies Graham, worked in life insurance and his mother, Martha Berneice Isabel née Glass, was a housewife. Through his father he was proud of his lineage through 'Graham' of the 'House of Montrose'. Garrick Graham was a proud member of the Huddersfield St Andrew's Society from 1968 and became 'chief' in 1977 and again in the 1980s.

His education commenced at the Central Primary School, New Plymouth, New Zealand, where he was 'dux' in 1945. This was followed by secondary education at King's College, Auckland, where he gained the Swale's memorial biology and the Moorhouse science prizes in 1950. In addition to these scholastic achievements he represented the school XI at cricket in 1950. Garrick went to Otago University medical school from 1951 to 1956 and was greatly influenced by D'Ath in pathology, who gave superb clinico-pathological tutorials and W E Adams, an anatomist, who had a great gift for imparting his knowledge.

After qualification he was a houseman in the Auckland hospitals from 1958 to 1959 and then a surgical registrar up to 1962, when he passed the FRACS. During his years in New Zealand he led a very active life in sport. He had played cricket for the university first XI and was in the Waikato provincial team in 1955. He also kept himself fit as a member of the Otago Rugby Union Referees Association.

In 1964 he went to the UK as a lecturer with senior registrar status at Leeds General Infirmary, where he was fortunate to work with John C Goligher. He was taught the importance of good clinical work underpinning all other areas of practice. During this period of training, Garrick Graham had many joint publications on ulcerative colitis, including 'Early surgery in the management of severe ulcerative colitis' (, 1967 2 193) and 'Reliability of physical signs in patients with severe ulcerative colitis' (, 1971 2 746). He also published on many aspects of bowel surgery, acute pancreatitis, the biliary tract and vagotomy.

In 1967 he was appointed as a consultant surgeon in Huddersfield. He was widely respected as a busy and approachable general surgeon, who was also an examiner in surgery for the BDS at the University of Leeds and in the final MB BCh. He assumed managerial roles for several years leading up to his retirement and wrote an article 'Self-governing hospital: a hospital manager's assessment' (Brit J Hosp Med 1989 42, 438). This was from his experience in the years 1986 to 1991 as the part-time unit general manager at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

He became a membership councillor and was elected by the local population to help steer the Catherdale and Huddersfield Trust into the future. Passionate about health and health services, he assumed the role of chairman of Huddersfield NHS Trust from November 1992 and was involved for many years following his retirement. 'Huddersfield Royal Infirmary always occupied a special place in his heart: he was a great man and I miss him greatly,' wrote one colleague from the Trust.

He married Joy Frances Bayly on his 24th birthday in Te Awamutu, New Zealand. They had three children: Michael Ian, born in New Zealand in 1958, became a research manager in the pharmaceutical industry and now works in finance; Kathryn Denise, also born in New Zealand, was a stewardess on cruise liners but more recently a primary school teacher; and Jacky Joy, who was born in the UK, is a former BBC journalist and now a vicar in the Anglican church.

Relaxation in Garrick's consultant years came from playing golf to a high standard - he won the Moynihan cup (Leeds) in 1977. In his earlier years as a consultant he switched his allegiance to Association Football. From active participation as a referee in rugby union in New Zealand, in the UK he followed the 'round ball'. From 1970 to 1974 he was director of Huddersfield Town Football club.

As early as 1990 Garrick developed a keen interest in wines and had an extensive cellar in his large Victorian house. For his last 10 to 15 years he had been particularly interested in wines from New Zealand. To accompany the wines, in retirement he also became very interested in cooking and became an accomplished chef. He and Joy hosted many fun dinner parties.

Norman Garrick Graham died on 25 February 2010 and was survived by his wife of 54 years Joy, their three children and three grandchildren.

N Alan Green

Sources used to compile this entry: [Information from Joy Graham; Diane Whittingham, chief executive of Catherdale and Huddersfield Trust].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England