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Biographical entry Mark, John (1901 - 1968)

OBE 1962; FRCS 1930; MB ChB Otago 1926.

Te Puke, New Zealand
20 May 1968
General surgeon


John Mark was born at Te Puke in 1901, and winning a national scholarship from his preparatory school he went to Auckland Grammar School and then to the University of Otago where he graduated MB ChB in 1926. After his early resident posts in Auckland Public Hospital he came over to London to work for the FRCS which he obtained in 1930.

Mark then spent two years in surgical appointments at Guildford and at Guy's Hospital, and on his return to New Zealand he was appointed part-time medical superintendent of the Tauranga Public Hospital, a post in which he was able to combine a general practice, which included general surgery and obstetrics, with his hospital duties, and which he held till 1942. This involved tremendously hard work, especially during the war years, and his devotion to duty was greatly appreciated by his colleagues as well as by his patients who adored and trusted him.

The workload had the inevitable effect and from 1950 onwards he suffered a series of heart attacks from which, however, he recovered sufficiently to return to his practice until after a major cardiac operation he was forced to retire. He had always been a keen sportsman with special interests in fishing, rugby football, and golf. Even after his retirement he continued to play golf with the aid of an electric "carry car", but he finally died on the golf course at the very end of a round on 20 May 1968.

Through his initiative the Bay of Islands Division of the BMA was formed in 1946, and he was elected its first President. The award of the OBE in 1962 was a very well-merited distinction.

John Mark was survived by his wife Kit, their son Richard who with his wife was engaged in medical research, and their daughters Sally and Belinda.

Sources used to compile this entry: [NZ med J 1968, 68, 41].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England