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Biographical entry Mander, Jeffory George (1927 - 2011)

MB BS London 1952; FRCS 1960; FRACS 1977.

5 October 1927
20 August 2011
General surgeon, Military surgeon and Orthopaedic surgeon


Jeff Mander was Bendigo's first Orthopaedic surgeon where he was in practice from 1969 to 2002. He was instrumental in the accreditation of orthopaedic training in Bendigo with the first trainee commencing in 1989.

He was born and raised in Reading, the only child of George and Constance Mander. He graduated from St Mary's medical school in 1952. He met Sylvia, a nurse there, and they married in 1953, before he enlisted for 16 years' service in the RAF. He gained his Fellowship in General Surgery from the Royal College of Surgeons in England in 1960, before specialising in Orthopaedics. The RAF posted him overseas for two year terms in the Yemen, Aden and Cyprus and as a service medic he rose to the rank of Wing Commander.

The family moved to Bendigo in 1969, where he joined the practice of Eugene Sandner and Ian Gordon. He performed the first total hip replacement in Bendigo, and was an enthusiastic teacher of medical and nursing staff. He was elected to Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 1977 under article 21. In addition to his surgical and orthopaedic practice he was on the Board of the Mt Alvernia private hospital and was for a period chairman of the medical staff group at the Bendigo Base Hospital. In practice, he was joined by Bill Hannah, a general surgeon, and in 1985, a second orthopaedic surgeon, Travis Perera.

In running his practice in Bendigo, Jeff had a reputation for being punctual, efficient, thorough and fair. His surgical management was precise as were his habits. When he retired from surgical practice in 1997 he established a further career in medico-legal consultation, and his services and unbiased advice were sought all over Australia.

In the latter stages of his career Jeff gave considerable support to orthopaedic training programs in Fiji and Papua New Guinea. Ikau Kevau, now the head of surgery in Port Moresby and also one of his early trainees, wrote of how he was inspiring, pioneering, and distinguished. Jeff was a specialist who though he liked things to be done properly, was willing to work at ground level in the developing world and help establish foundations for orthopaedic surgery where formerly there was only surgery in general. Today Papua New Guinea has seven orthopaedic surgeons and a well-established orthopaedic unit in the teaching centre of Port Moresby General Hospital.

After moving to Bendigo, he adopted the Cats as his Australian Rules Football team although during his own playing career he played rugby union. He was also an enthusiastic actor in amateur productions and an able singer. He loved classical music and relished the spoken word and the sound of language. Never one to be inactive, he began reading for Vision Australia's radio station and was recording a book for them at the time of his death.

'Poppa' enjoyed his family and loved to entertain his grandchildren with whom he shared his interests in soccer (Arsenal), in board games (Rummikub), television (Vicar of Dibley), movies (James Bond) and puzzles (Sudoku). In between meals he was particularly fond of Mars Bars.

During his final illness he suffered from complications of the management of fractures, but showed courage and determination, remaining cheerful and articulate throughout his hospital stay.

Jeff is survived by his wife, Sylvia, son Alastair, daughter Jane, daughter-in law Sally, son-in law Alwyn, and grandchildren Hamish, Annabel, Lachlan and Nicholas.

David A K Watters

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