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Biographical entry Harvie, Adam Hamilton (1894 - 1978)

MRCS and FRCS 1945; MB ChB Otago 1924; DTM&H Calcutta 1929; FRCS Ed 1933.

Middlemarch, Central Otago, New Zealand
30 September 1978
General practitioner and General surgeon


Adam Hamilton Harvie was born in 1894 in Middlemarch, Central Otago, the son of a farmer. At the age of 18, he matriculated intending to become a doctor but he served for two years as a private soldier in the Medical Corps in the first world war. He worked to keep himself and eventually qualified MB ChB in 1924.

He and his wife served in a medical mission in Jagadhri, North Punjab, for twelve years until 1939 when they returned to New Zealand with their family. While in India he passed DTM and H Calcutta and the FRCS Ed in 1933. In 1938 he won the Hastings Prize for a thesis on amoebic dysentery and in 1945 passed the FRCS.

When war broke out in 1939, Harvie came to England, leaving his family in New Zealand. He volunteered for service but was told he was too old so he stayed on as a resident surgeon at Kingston-upon-Thames. He returned to New Zealand in 1945 and took over Dr Sylvia Chaler's practice in Kelburn where he worked until his retirement in 1964. His 'retirement' in Western Hutt Hills was largely theoretical because he continued to help other general practitioners with regular surgical sessions and locums until his death at the age of 84 on 30 September 1978.

Harvie was deeply religious, a supporter of moral rearmament and a staunch Presbyterian. He had a great sense of humour, never took offence and was universally respected. His wife died in 1969 and he was survived by his second wife and three daughters by his first marriage.

Sources used to compile this entry: [NZ med J 1978, 88, 457-8].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England