Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 15-July-2005, Vol 118 No 1218
John Milne Loughlin
10 February 1930–9 September 2004
Originally from Auckland, where he attended Auckland Grammar, John Loughlin received his medical training at Otago after initially qualifying in Pharmacy and acquiring his University Entrance at night school.
He supported himself and young family during the vacation periods by organising cleaning and painting contracts as well as pharmacy dispensing after hours.
This diligence and initiative, energy and capacity for hard work was to distinguish his ophthalmology.
He trained at the Institute of Ophthalmology in London, acquiring the Diploma before returning to his family in New Zealand. He often expressed a regret that he had accepted the advice given not to proceed to the Fellowship.
After a short period in Nelson, in 1968 he joined David Sabiston in practice in Napier and an appointment to the Hawkes Bay Hospital Board which proved to last for over 30 years.
He was instrumental in leading a fundraising effort in1973 that founded the Hawkes Bay Ophthalmic Trust which proved instrumental in introducing new technology such as operating microscopes, argon and YAG lasers, and ultrasound into the hospital.
With an active concern for those in need, he was a founding trustee for the Hawkes Bay Trust for the Elderly providing minivan transport to medical appointments and for rest home residents. He also guided a local Lions Club in funding children’s spectacles before the Under 8 Spectacle grant was established.
In the 80s he developed a lifestyle block, first as a citrus orchard and then as Waimarama Estate Winery succeeding to craft a Bordeaux-style wine with a remarkable Gold Medal 1991 vintage.
On retiring from his hospital appointment and from surgery, he maintained his private medical ophthalmic practice until ill health in late 2003. He is survived by his wife, Audrey, and three of his four children.
This obituary was written by Dr John Beaumont, a friend and colleague of Dr John Loughlin, and is reprinted with permission from the January 2005 issue of the Ophthalmologists’ Exchange (Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists) to whom we are grateful.
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