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Biographical entry Goldie, John Ernest Dunlop (1922 - 2012)

MB BS Sydney; FRCS 1951; FRACS 1954.

7 October 1922
24 June 2012
General surgeon


John was the son of Dr Robert Goldie, a Scottish migrant who settled in Corrimal near Wollongong, in NSW. By 1919, Robert had served four years in the British army in France. In 1920 he married Margaret Sellers, daughter of a mine manager.

John was born in 1922 and grew up in Wollongong. He attended the local public school which he loved and spent his spare time swimming in the local baths and beaches. He was a strong student at high school, but became bored. In 41 year of high school, John was sent to The Scots College in Bellevue Hill, Sydney. As was the custom at the time, the showers were cold and food was poor. He qualified for Medicine at the University of Sydney and enjoyed life at St Andrews College. He performed well in the course and graduated sixth in final year. In 1940, John joined the Sydney University Regiment. After the bombing of Darwin, all medical students were discharged to complete an accelerated medical course. In June 1945, he was appointed resident at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. He soon decided on surgery as his future career. The next five years were extremely busy but rewarding. He met and wooed Freda Pain, nursing sister in charge of operating theatres. She was attractive, efficient and well liked by medical and nursing staff. My wife and others remember John's regular presence in the tearoom at the time. 1n 1949, John was appointed Clinical Superintendent.

In 1950, he went to England to study and to obtain the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. On arrival in London in 1950, John and Freda were married. Neville Davis FRACS of Brisbane was his best man. They returned to Sydney at the end of 1951.

Initially, John took up the position of Clinical Superintendent at RPAH. He was appointed to the honorary surgical staff in 1953 and was assistant to Professor Sir Harold Dew In 1954, he sat and passed the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons examination. John's association with the College lasted from that time until his death.

He was elected to the Council in 1970 and became a member of the Executive, Censor -in-Chief and was senior Vice-President for two years. On retiring from the Council, John was appointed to the Court of Honour and attended many meetings of the Court until close to his death.

John was a loyal servant of Royal Prince Alfred Hospital as an Honorary (unpaid) surgeon for thirty five years. He was appointed a member of the Board of Directors and served reliably and steadfastly for seven years.

John was an enthusiastic traveller. He visited the United Kingdom, North America, Europe and Asia regularly. He attended a surgical meeting and an overseas clinic almost every year. He was a member of the International Society of Surgery and a Fellow of the American and Edinburgh Colleges. He was Consultant Surgeon to the Australian army and to the Liverpool and Bankstown hospitals.

John was an avid yachtsman and a member of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron for nearly sixty years. He originally raced a Bluebird and afterwards a Warwick Hood-designed twenty five footer. He sailed regularly until recently and loved being on Sydney Harbour and the thrill of a race.

John was a devoted family man. He and Freda had five children. I remember their house at Castlecrag, with its glorious gardens and swimming pool. They were always gracious hosts to a huge variety of friends. The family holidays to the snow were legendary, though John preferred not to ski. Freda died in 2004 and John's family rallied around him. After her death, he continued to enjoy travelling and was often accompanied by his friend Bi Valys. He was addicted to Bridge and played until the day before he died.

John spent many happy hours at the Australian Club, where he seemed to know everyone and everyone certainly knew him.

John Goldie was an excellent surgeon who helped an army of students and surgical trainees. He will be missed by his family and many friends.

Brian Morgan
Robert Goldie

Sources used to compile this entry: [Republished by kind permission of the President and Council of The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons from In Memoriam (].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England