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Biographical entry Rustomjee, Rusie Cawasjee Jamshedjee (1912 - 2012)

MRCS and FRCS 1949; LMS Ceylon 1938; DLO London 1949.

9 November 1912
Colombo, Sri Lanka
6 October 2012
Mosman, Australia
ENT surgeon


Rusie Rustomjee, an ENT surgeon, practised medicine for 75 years, starting in Colombo, Ceylon and finally retiring in Australia at the age of 89. He was born in Colombo on 9 November 1912 one of the six children of Cowasjee Rustomjee, whom he described as a merchant, and his wife Piroja née Mistry. His grandfather, Jamshed Ji Rustomjee JP a prominent Ceylonese philanthropist, donated money to the Children's Hospital and the Victoria Home for Incurables in Colombo. He studied at Ceylon Medical College where he was awarded a bursary, and won the Rockwood gold medal for operative surgery.

During the Second World War he served as a temporary major in the Ceylon Army Medical Corps. Travelling to London after the war he passed the FRCS in 1949 and became a clinical assistant at the Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital in 1950, working with William McKenzie and Maxwell Ellis, both distinguished fellows of the College. Returning to Colombo he became senior ENT surgeon to the General Hospital.

In 1975, concerned by the political situation in Sri Lanka, he and his family emigrated to Australia and settled in the Blue Mountains at Lapstone. He continued to practice ENT surgery at Springwood Hospital and at Nepean and Governor Phillip Hospital, Penrith, finally retiring in 2002. He had married his cousin, Jer Rustomjee in 1948 and they had three children: two daughters, Zarine Mistry (born 1949) who became a consultant physician in Virginia, USA; Tehmi Meher-Homjee (born 1950) who managed a fashion boutique in Australia; and son, Jamshed (born 1951) who worked for the NSW transport board.

He was a past president of the Colombo Lions Club and of the Sri Lanka College of Surgeons. In Australia he became a member of the Australian Returned Serviceman's Club and of the Penrith Rugby Leagues Club. He enjoyed swimming, walking, reading and bridge and noted that he regretted not having enough opportunity to practice ocean swimming which had been one of the favourite pastimes of his youth. A year before he retired he remarked that he had had "a varied but happy medical career."

He died on 6 October 2011 survived by his wife, children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Tina Craig

Sources used to compile this entry: [Sydney Morning Herald at accessed on 29 October 2012.].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England