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Biographical entry Peters, James Sturrock (1913 - 2010)

MB BS Melbourne 1937; MS 1946; FRCS 1947; FRACS 1948.

20 October 1913
Greendale, Australia
28 September 2010
Melbourne, Australia
Urological surgeon


Jim Peters died at home in Melbourne on 28 September 2010. The caption on his obituary in The Melbourne Age on 4th October epitomised his life: 'Amateur champion kicked goals on the field and as a medical specialist.' He loved his profession, his family and his sport.

Jim grew up in Victorian country towns where his father, Victor - a WWI veteran, taught at various State primary schools. Jim was an outstanding footballer in his school days and as a boarder at St Patrick's College Ballarat, he kicked 141 goals in the 1930 championship side for which he was awarded a gold medal.

A keen sportsman at Melbourne University he is pictured on the back dust jacket of The Ties that Bind (History of Sport at Melbourne University) hitting a six into the grounds at Ormond College in front of Trinity College wicket keeper, the future historian - Manning Clark. Resident at Newman College from 1931, a Freshman Blue for football Jim played in and was later Captain of the Newman side once kicking 18 goals against Queens in an Intercollegiate match in 1937. He played with the Melbourne University Blacks from 1931, Captain in 1934 and in the 1935 A Grade Premiership side and also captained various Intervarsity and Victorian Amateur Teams. In 2007 he was delighted to be inducted by the Victorian Amateur Football Association as one of the Inaugural Legends of the game.

He graduated MB BS in 1937 the year he was president of Newman College Students Club. After residency at St Vincent's Hospital in 1938 and 1939, he served with the AIF 1940-1945, initially being posted to North Africa with the 6th Division and later with the 9th in Tobruk and El Alamein, retiring as Lieut Col MID. After the war he became a resident medical officer at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. He was awarded his Master of Surgery (Melb) in April 1946 and married Moira O'Collins. Shortly afterwards the newlyweds sailed for England where Jim became a Resident Surgical Officer at St James Hospital London and was admitted a Fellow of The Royal College of Surgeons on 12th June 1947.

Following post-graduate studies in the United States they returned to Melbourne in 1948 and he was admitted a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons on 5th December 1948. He was appointed Honorary Urologist at Prince Henry's Hospital in 1953 and the founding specialist in urology at the Repatriation Hospital Heidelberg (now part of the Austin Hospital) in 1957. He served as President of the Australasian Urological Society 1961-2 and as Adjoint Delegate to the International Society of Urology (SIU) 1967-1973.

In 2008 the Austin Health Urology Unit honoured Jim, the first Urologist at the Repatriation General Hospital and as such - pioneer of their department by the establishment of the Jim Peters Fellowship for Urological Research. When he died the Austin in its obituary in The Age Oct 1st - noted how Jim had 'championed the training of Australian Urologists within Australia. His immense contribution is commemorated by the Jim Peters Fellowship in Urological Research'.

For many years Jim enjoyed presenting papers and attending urological speciality meetings in Australia and overseas particularly in Rio de Janeiro (1961) when he was President of the Urological Society of Australia & New Zealand. Later conferences included Moscow, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Johannesburg, Paris and Vienna.

Jim valued the friendship of his colleagues, many of whom when visiting Melbourne stayed at his home in Toorak and later, when he retired, at the farm near Kilmore where he was able to show them the Angus cattle he and Moira bred as well as kangaroos and wombats!

For relaxation he enjoyed playing golf at Peninsula Country Golf Club and Metropolitan Golf Club where on his death he was the longest serving member - 73 years. Initially playing off 5 in his early years he later went on to win events including Captains, Knox, Umphelby (2) at Metropolitan and five 1939-1945 Service trophies at Peninsula. He also had a keen interest in racing and with his friend the late Sir Maurice Nathan had many successes with his favourite horse, Penny Edition, including the 1981 Toorak Handicap.

Jim and Moira had a family of five sons and three daughters. He constantly encouraged his children and was immensely proud of them: the doctors - Marion, Professor Medicine, UCSF and Justin, a Melbourne Urological Surgeon, the lawyers - Stewart, Joanna and James, the veterinarian - Bronwen, the stockbroker - Mark and the engineer - Stephen.

Jim's Requiem Mass was held at Newman College Chapel, Melbourne University on October 6th where he was farewelled by his extended family and many friends including representatives from his medical, football, racing and golfing days.

He is survived by Moira, his eight children, seventeen grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

Vale Jim.

Compiled by Jim Peters' family.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Republished by kind permission of the President and Council of The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons from In Memoriam (].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England