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Biographical entry Wilson, Ian Irvine (1920 - 1978)

MRCS and FRCS 1961; BDS Otago 1942; MB ChB 1951; DLO 1961; FRACS 1962.

10 October 1920
Wellington, New Zealand
28 December 1978
Lake Taupo, North Island, New Zealand
Dentist, ENT surgeon and General practitioner


Ian Irvine Wilson, the son of Leonard and Dorothy Garland Irvine, was born at Wellington, New Zealand, on 10 October 1920. After education at John McGlasher College he went to the University of Otago to graduate in dentistry at the age of twenty-one. After three years in dental practice he returned to Otago to study medicine and qualified in 1951. He spent two years as a house surgeon at Auckland Hospital and then entered general practice at Thames, North Island. After five years he decided to specialise in otorhinolaryngology and worked for a year as registrar at Green Lane Hospital before taking his family to London. For two and a half years he worked at the Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital and at Golden Square Hospital and passed the DLO and FRCS examinations.

After returning to New Zealand he became FRACS in 1962 and spent a further year at Green Lane Hospital as tutor in ENT work before entering private practice with consultant appointments at Auckland Hospital and the Mater Hospital. He decided to make a subspeciality of rhinoplasty and developed that interest on study trips abroad. He served on the executive of the New Zealand Otorhinolaryngological Society for many years and was its most active and successful treasurer. Outside his professional work he had quite unusual competence and expertise in his hobbies. While working at Thames he had established his own radio transmitting station which kept him in touch with other enthusiasts around the world. He was a driver of fast cars who always knew exactly how they worked and, in his mid-forties, he became interested in flying. He had married Jessie Mary Wyman, in 1945, and they both now became fully qualified instrumental commercial pilots and aircraft operators. Such was his enthusiasm that he became one of the most experienced and highly qualified private pilots in New Zealand and proceeded to organise an ENT practice in Norfolk Island and at Tauranga. He and his wife flew themselves to a combined conference of the Australian and New Zealand ENT societies in South East Asia via New Guinea, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Singapore, and they also made extensive flying tours around New Zealand and Australia. His keen and enquiring mind was always interested in anything or anywhere new. He died aboard his launch on Lake Taupo, N Island, on 28 December 1978, survived by his wife Jessie and daughters Barbara, Susan and Cheryl.

Sources used to compile this entry: [NZ med J 1979, 89, 491-2].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England