Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 16-December-2011, Vol 124 No 1347
Stuart Hawksworth Brown
6 August 1922 – 28 October 2011
Stuart was born in Auckland, the son of Cecil and Elizabeth Brown. His early school life was spent in Dunedin and then in Wellington where he attended Rongotai College. He was a keen rugby player (member of the First XV) and prefect.
After a year working to save for tuition and boarding fees, Stuart began medicine at Otago, graduating in 1946.
Following graduation he became a Registrar at Auckland Hospital during which time he helped prepare the new Middlemore Hospital for its opening and also cared for patients affected by the 1947–1949 polio epidemic.
Stuart met Marjorie Bennett at the end of his fifth year at Otago and they were married in 1949. He and Marjorie built their family home in Meadowbank where they have lived to this day.
Stuart’s first passion was for general practice and he opened his surgery in Remuera, with an evening surgery in his home.
He was a dedicated and hard worker and in the first 9 years barely had a weekend off. His practice flourished and over the years other doctors joined him. Stuart built a reputation as an excellent diagnostician. He also loved caring for families at a time when general practice involved many aspects of medicine, including obstetrics.
In the early 1960s Stuart saw a need for more professional geriatric care in Auckland. He was part of a small group who planned and brought to fruition St Andrews Village in Glendowie. At its opening in 1962 it originally comprised a hospital and hostel but in the following years it was expanded to include accommodation for independent and semi-dependent care.
At the same time as running his busy practice, Stuart also held many roles within St Andrews over 40 years—from Medical Officer to Chief Executive Officer and finally as a member of the Board. During that time he was constantly looking to bring best geriatric practices from around the world to St Andrews. Under his stewardship, St Andrews achieved considerable recognition for its innovation and best practice.
Stuart was also an ardent supporter of the Hospice movement and persuaded the Board of St Andrews to gift land for what became the Eastern Bays Hospice, of which he became a trustee.
Other medical activities included a lengthy period as Chairman of the Medical Disciplinary Committee in Auckland, member of the New Zealand Health Board for Geriatrics and Medical Referee for the Purewa Crematorium Trust Board.
Stuart was passionate about his work, only retiring from general practice at age 70 which enabled him to spend more time at St Andrews Village.
He and Marjorie were lifelong members of St David’s Presbyterian Church in Auckland and Stuart served as an Elder from 1956. Other interests included bowls at the Remuera Bowling Club and the Mount Hobson Probus Club, serving as President of both groups.
Stuart is survived by his wife of 62 years, Marjorie, and by his sons Andrew and Alistair and his daughter, Alison Laurence.
The Brown family wrote this obituary.
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