Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Hunter, Adam Irvine ( - 1978)

MRCS and FRCS 1934; MB ChB Otago 1925.

20 June 1978
General surgeon


Adam Irvine Hunter was born before the turn of the century in Dunedin. He was educated at Waitaki Boys' High School where he showed remarkable athletic ability being in both the first XI and XV and winning the school gymnastic championship.

After leaving school he entered Otago Medical School, qualifying MB ChB in 1925. At this time he achieved prominence as a scratch golfer. He became a house surgeon at New Plymouth and then left for England. He was awarded his Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1934 and, while in London, made friends among many prominent figures in the theatrical, business and golfing worlds. He diagnosed and assisted at the operation of the first insulinoma recognised in Great Britain.

Until the beginning of the second world war he was in general practice in Twickenham. He entered the RAMC and was in Iceland at the time of the sinking of the Bismarck and attended some of the survivors. He also served in the Near East and became a Colonel in charge of the surgical divisions of the general hospital in India.

After the war he settled in general practice in Invercargill where his abundant energy and skill soon won him an extensive practice. With his wide experience he soon realised the parochialism of the local hospital scene and served six years on the hospital board as he attempted to correct the state of affairs.

Despite advancing years he continued to practice as long as possible and took part in a wide range of activities. He was a keen fisherman and deer hunter and won the New Zealand Gold Medal for philately. With so many varied interests his circle of friends and acquaintances was immense. Even when he was forced to retire on account of ill health his active mind took up a new interest in an invention involving farming and the business world. He was actively engaged in this when died suddenly on 20 June 1978 survived by his daughter Jean and son, John.

Sources used to compile this entry: NZ med J 1978, 88, 295.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England