View Article PDF

QSM MB ChB (NZ) FRNZCGP; 3 March 192527 November 2009Dr Grattan OConnell was born in Dunedin, the only son of William and Doris OConnell. Grattans father, who worked for the Government Tourist Bureau, was appointed resident manager of the Waitomo Caves Hotel, and from that time on until his marriage Waitomo was Grattans home base. His early education was at the small, one-teacher school at Waitomo, then he spent 3 years as a boarder at Sacred Heart College in Auckland. The last 4 years of his secondary schooling was at St Patricks Silversream, where he was Head Boy and a member of the First XV in 1942. After doing his final year in Auckland, Grattan obtained his medical degrees from Otago University at the end of 1949. GP training courses were unheard of in those days, but he spent the next 3 years as a house surgeon at the Auckland hospitals, endeavouring to gain as wide a range of clinical experience for general practice as possible. During this time, in 1951, he married Verna Stone of Devonport, and Verna was a wonderful and supportive wife throughout their long marriage. They were to have three daughters, Cathryn, Ainsley, and Helen. Grattan did a long-term locum at New Lynn, and during 1953 established a general practice in Glen Innes, then a very new, raw, and rapidly-expanding suburb consisting largely of State houses, most with young families. About the same time Sacred Heart, one of Grattans old schools, re-located to Glen Innes in brand-new premises, and he was appointed the visiting doctor, to be held in high regard by the boys and Brothers for the next 40 years. Grattan was a competent obstetrician, and we considered obstetrics to be an important component of good general practice. In addition he found time to give regular anaesthetic lists at Green Lane Hospital and in private. I moved into general practice in Glen Innes in 1955, and though we were never in partnership, we worked in close association for the remainder of our medical careers. Grattan set high clinical and ethical standards which I know were valued highly by patients, the community in general and his medical, surgical and dental colleagues. In 1967, another dimension in Grattans life opened up. He became a Charter Member of the Glen Innes Rotary Club (later to be re-named Auckland East). With Rotary as in medicine, everything he took on was aimed at, and achieved, excellence, right from club presidency, later as District Governor and eventually to world level, when he became a director of Rotary International. One notable instance where he was able to bring his medical experience to bear was thePolio-plus campaign, Rotarys ongoing attempt to eliminate poliomyelitis from the world. In this Grattan was closely involved for 20 years, including, among other things, visits to Third World countries and giving opinions and advice in the cnuts and boltsd of the campaign. For this and other outstanding service Rotary awarded him their Exceptional Service Award, which I understand is given only rarely. Grattan was included in the Royal Honours list in 1997 with the award of the Queens Service Medal, for services to the community. While on Rotary business in Fiji in 1976 Grattan suffered a serious coronary attack, and we feared for his survival, but he made it. At this stage he gave up anaesthetics in favour of the less stressful, but no less important, field of geriatrics. He joined me on the visiting staff of Meadowbank Home and Hospital, where he was a valued colleague. He retired from his practice in 1993, and from Meadowbank a few years later. Grattan was a keen golfer, and he was to reach the age of 80 before giving it up. In recent times he became a member of the Glendowie Probus Club, where he was as active as his declining health would allow. Four years ago, Grattan and Verna moved into Grace Joel Retirement Village at St Heliers, and for the last 6 months Grattan was cared for in the hospital section. The large chapel at Sacred Heart College provided a fitting venue for his funeral service, and the congregation was widely representative of friends, colleagues, Rotary, old patients, and citizens of the Eastern Suburbs he had served so well. The College choir and haka party added their tributes. Grattan was a strong family man and proud of the many achievements of its members. To Verna, his daughters, grand-daughter and three grandsons, who looked after him with such devotion through his long illness, our profession offers their love and sympathy. This obituary was written by Dr Bill Brabazon, with help from Verna and Cathy.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Correspondence Email

Competing Interests

For the PDF of this article,
contact nzmj@nzma.org.nz

View Article PDF

QSM MB ChB (NZ) FRNZCGP; 3 March 192527 November 2009Dr Grattan OConnell was born in Dunedin, the only son of William and Doris OConnell. Grattans father, who worked for the Government Tourist Bureau, was appointed resident manager of the Waitomo Caves Hotel, and from that time on until his marriage Waitomo was Grattans home base. His early education was at the small, one-teacher school at Waitomo, then he spent 3 years as a boarder at Sacred Heart College in Auckland. The last 4 years of his secondary schooling was at St Patricks Silversream, where he was Head Boy and a member of the First XV in 1942. After doing his final year in Auckland, Grattan obtained his medical degrees from Otago University at the end of 1949. GP training courses were unheard of in those days, but he spent the next 3 years as a house surgeon at the Auckland hospitals, endeavouring to gain as wide a range of clinical experience for general practice as possible. During this time, in 1951, he married Verna Stone of Devonport, and Verna was a wonderful and supportive wife throughout their long marriage. They were to have three daughters, Cathryn, Ainsley, and Helen. Grattan did a long-term locum at New Lynn, and during 1953 established a general practice in Glen Innes, then a very new, raw, and rapidly-expanding suburb consisting largely of State houses, most with young families. About the same time Sacred Heart, one of Grattans old schools, re-located to Glen Innes in brand-new premises, and he was appointed the visiting doctor, to be held in high regard by the boys and Brothers for the next 40 years. Grattan was a competent obstetrician, and we considered obstetrics to be an important component of good general practice. In addition he found time to give regular anaesthetic lists at Green Lane Hospital and in private. I moved into general practice in Glen Innes in 1955, and though we were never in partnership, we worked in close association for the remainder of our medical careers. Grattan set high clinical and ethical standards which I know were valued highly by patients, the community in general and his medical, surgical and dental colleagues. In 1967, another dimension in Grattans life opened up. He became a Charter Member of the Glen Innes Rotary Club (later to be re-named Auckland East). With Rotary as in medicine, everything he took on was aimed at, and achieved, excellence, right from club presidency, later as District Governor and eventually to world level, when he became a director of Rotary International. One notable instance where he was able to bring his medical experience to bear was thePolio-plus campaign, Rotarys ongoing attempt to eliminate poliomyelitis from the world. In this Grattan was closely involved for 20 years, including, among other things, visits to Third World countries and giving opinions and advice in the cnuts and boltsd of the campaign. For this and other outstanding service Rotary awarded him their Exceptional Service Award, which I understand is given only rarely. Grattan was included in the Royal Honours list in 1997 with the award of the Queens Service Medal, for services to the community. While on Rotary business in Fiji in 1976 Grattan suffered a serious coronary attack, and we feared for his survival, but he made it. At this stage he gave up anaesthetics in favour of the less stressful, but no less important, field of geriatrics. He joined me on the visiting staff of Meadowbank Home and Hospital, where he was a valued colleague. He retired from his practice in 1993, and from Meadowbank a few years later. Grattan was a keen golfer, and he was to reach the age of 80 before giving it up. In recent times he became a member of the Glendowie Probus Club, where he was as active as his declining health would allow. Four years ago, Grattan and Verna moved into Grace Joel Retirement Village at St Heliers, and for the last 6 months Grattan was cared for in the hospital section. The large chapel at Sacred Heart College provided a fitting venue for his funeral service, and the congregation was widely representative of friends, colleagues, Rotary, old patients, and citizens of the Eastern Suburbs he had served so well. The College choir and haka party added their tributes. Grattan was a strong family man and proud of the many achievements of its members. To Verna, his daughters, grand-daughter and three grandsons, who looked after him with such devotion through his long illness, our profession offers their love and sympathy. This obituary was written by Dr Bill Brabazon, with help from Verna and Cathy.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Correspondence Email

Competing Interests

For the PDF of this article,
contact nzmj@nzma.org.nz

View Article PDF

QSM MB ChB (NZ) FRNZCGP; 3 March 192527 November 2009Dr Grattan OConnell was born in Dunedin, the only son of William and Doris OConnell. Grattans father, who worked for the Government Tourist Bureau, was appointed resident manager of the Waitomo Caves Hotel, and from that time on until his marriage Waitomo was Grattans home base. His early education was at the small, one-teacher school at Waitomo, then he spent 3 years as a boarder at Sacred Heart College in Auckland. The last 4 years of his secondary schooling was at St Patricks Silversream, where he was Head Boy and a member of the First XV in 1942. After doing his final year in Auckland, Grattan obtained his medical degrees from Otago University at the end of 1949. GP training courses were unheard of in those days, but he spent the next 3 years as a house surgeon at the Auckland hospitals, endeavouring to gain as wide a range of clinical experience for general practice as possible. During this time, in 1951, he married Verna Stone of Devonport, and Verna was a wonderful and supportive wife throughout their long marriage. They were to have three daughters, Cathryn, Ainsley, and Helen. Grattan did a long-term locum at New Lynn, and during 1953 established a general practice in Glen Innes, then a very new, raw, and rapidly-expanding suburb consisting largely of State houses, most with young families. About the same time Sacred Heart, one of Grattans old schools, re-located to Glen Innes in brand-new premises, and he was appointed the visiting doctor, to be held in high regard by the boys and Brothers for the next 40 years. Grattan was a competent obstetrician, and we considered obstetrics to be an important component of good general practice. In addition he found time to give regular anaesthetic lists at Green Lane Hospital and in private. I moved into general practice in Glen Innes in 1955, and though we were never in partnership, we worked in close association for the remainder of our medical careers. Grattan set high clinical and ethical standards which I know were valued highly by patients, the community in general and his medical, surgical and dental colleagues. In 1967, another dimension in Grattans life opened up. He became a Charter Member of the Glen Innes Rotary Club (later to be re-named Auckland East). With Rotary as in medicine, everything he took on was aimed at, and achieved, excellence, right from club presidency, later as District Governor and eventually to world level, when he became a director of Rotary International. One notable instance where he was able to bring his medical experience to bear was thePolio-plus campaign, Rotarys ongoing attempt to eliminate poliomyelitis from the world. In this Grattan was closely involved for 20 years, including, among other things, visits to Third World countries and giving opinions and advice in the cnuts and boltsd of the campaign. For this and other outstanding service Rotary awarded him their Exceptional Service Award, which I understand is given only rarely. Grattan was included in the Royal Honours list in 1997 with the award of the Queens Service Medal, for services to the community. While on Rotary business in Fiji in 1976 Grattan suffered a serious coronary attack, and we feared for his survival, but he made it. At this stage he gave up anaesthetics in favour of the less stressful, but no less important, field of geriatrics. He joined me on the visiting staff of Meadowbank Home and Hospital, where he was a valued colleague. He retired from his practice in 1993, and from Meadowbank a few years later. Grattan was a keen golfer, and he was to reach the age of 80 before giving it up. In recent times he became a member of the Glendowie Probus Club, where he was as active as his declining health would allow. Four years ago, Grattan and Verna moved into Grace Joel Retirement Village at St Heliers, and for the last 6 months Grattan was cared for in the hospital section. The large chapel at Sacred Heart College provided a fitting venue for his funeral service, and the congregation was widely representative of friends, colleagues, Rotary, old patients, and citizens of the Eastern Suburbs he had served so well. The College choir and haka party added their tributes. Grattan was a strong family man and proud of the many achievements of its members. To Verna, his daughters, grand-daughter and three grandsons, who looked after him with such devotion through his long illness, our profession offers their love and sympathy. This obituary was written by Dr Bill Brabazon, with help from Verna and Cathy.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Correspondence Email

Competing Interests

Contact diana@nzma.org.nz
for the PDF of this article

Subscriber Content

The full contents of this pages only available to subscribers.

LOGINSUBSCRIBE