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Biographical entry Park, Alan Edwin (1897 - 1970)

MRCS and FRCS 1924; MB ChB Otago 1920; FRACS 1940.

6 August 1897
1 September 1970
Whangarei, New Zealand
General surgeon


Alan Edwin Park was born on 6 August 1897, and was educated at Otago Boys' High School. In 1914 he took the intermediate medical course at Victoria College, Wellington, and then went to Dunedin to graduate MB ChB in 1920. In his student days he played hockey and got a university blue for tennis.

After graduating he spent two years in junior posts at Wellington Hospital and then came to England for postgraduate training and obtained the FRCS in 1924. On returning to New Zealand he was first honorary surgeon to the children's division of Wellington Hospital (1925-1930), and from 1930 till 1940 served as assistant surgeon on the hospital staff.

In 1940 he was admitted to the Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. Shortly after the outbreak of the second world war he joined the New Zealand Army Medical Corps and became senior surgeon to the hospital ship Oranje and made several trips to the Middle East. He was invalided out in 1944 with a lung lesion. When he resumed his practice in New Zealand he held several hospital appointments; the Hutt Hospital in 1944 to 1947, and the Tauranga Hospital from 1947 till 1961. As his health was then failing he gave up surgery and undertook administrative work in the Department of Health and was posted to Whangarei.

Though Alan Park was a competent surgeon, his genial nature and his ability to establish communication between opposing political groups gained him an even greater reputation in medical politics. He was for a time honorary general secretary of the New Zealand Branch of the BMA and was also a member of the Medical Services Committee which ultimately solved the difficulties which had arisen between the Labour Government and the medical profession.

Park died in Whangarei on 1 September 1970 at the age of 73, and was survived by his wife Vera, and his son and daughter.

Sources used to compile this entry: [New Zealand med J 1971, 73, 168].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England