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Biographical entry Mason, Aubrey James (1902 - 1978)

MRCS and FRCS 1929; MB ChB New Zealand 1924; MS 1933.

Whangarei, New Zealand
27 October 1978
General surgeon


Aubrey James Mason was born in Whangarei in 1902 and educated at Epsom Primary School and later Auckland Grammar School. He qualified MB ChB from Otago in 1924 having gained distinction in his second professional examination and was a house surgeon in Auckland Hospital for two years in 1924-25. He travelled to England and was house surgeon at St Peter's Hospital, London, subsequently becoming resident surgical officer. He was house surgeon at the Cancer Hospital, Fulham Road, and resident surgical officer at the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary where he worked for two years, returning to Dunedin to become resident surgical officer and tutor in March 1932.

He had been admitted FRCS while in Britain in 1929 and qualified Master of Surgery, University of New Zealand, in 1933 with a thesis on the radiology of the urinary tract. In the next year he was appointed medical superintendent of Ashburton Hospital where he spent the remainder of his professional life. His wife, who practised under her maiden name of Zoe Rutherford was visiting radiologist to the Ashburton Hospital and predeceased him in 1971.

Aubrey Mason's interests were wide. He had a great love for horses and was a steward and committee member of the Ashburton Racing Club and subsequently its treasurer. He was also particularly interested in trotting and was a keen horse breeder, some of his thoroughbreds racing with success. He was at one stage a member of the Ashburton Polo Club and was a keen hunter.

Mason was the President of the Medical Superintendents' Association in 1949-50 and was a member of the Medical Council for 10 years. He received the Queen's Coronation Medal for community services.

Mason retired from Ashburton Hospital in 1964 and will always be remembered as a man of great integrity and thoroughness by all who were privileged to work with him. He died on 27 October 1978, aged 76, survived by his two daughters.

Sources used to compile this entry: [NZ med J 1978, 88, 458].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England