Lives of the fellows

Malcolm Kennedy Gray

b.30 April 1898 d.30 March 1978
MB ChB NZ(1921) MRCP(1924) FRACP(1938) FRCP(1954)

Malcolm Gray was born in Nelson, New Zealand, the son of the Revd. RS Gray, a noted Baptist clergyman, and Mary Alice Gray. He attended several different schools including Otago Boys’ High School. After graduating from Otago Medical School he became a resident at the Trentham Army Hospital, and in 1924 went to England for postgraduate training. For a year he worked with Sir James McKenzie at St Andrews University, and this laid the foundation for his future career as a cardiologist. After an appointment at Queen Mary’s Hospital at Stratford, he returned to Christchurch Hospital as a junior physician in 1926, and retired 32 years later as director of medical services.

He as an incisive teacher who insisted on punctuality and discipline. For many years he was sub-dean of the branch medical faculty of Otago University, the forerunner of the Christchurch Clinical School. He became a foundation fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 1938 and was chairman of the Dominion Committee, but declined higher office. The Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand was one of his main professional interests, and he became a life member.

From 1940 to 1944 he served in the Middle East and Italy as officer in charge (major) of the medical division of No 2 New Zealand General Hospital in Cairo, the Western Desert and Italy. He was invited to be an examiner in medicine for the University of Cairo. Gray was a skilled pianist, having become an associate of Trinity College, London at the age of 18 and gained a gold medal. Sport played an important part in his life. He enjoyed bowls and duck-shooting, and was a low handicap left-handed golfer and a very hard man to beat.

Mac Gray was Christchurch’s first cardiologist, and established electrocardiography at Christchurch Hospital. He was a good diagnostician and set high clinical standards. He was proud that Paul Wood was once his resident at Christchurch Hospital, and perhaps some of his forthright and dogmatic teaching style rubbed off on the younger man.

In 1927 he married Constance, daughter of George Fishlock, a guardian of a poorlaw institution, of Woodstock, England. They had a son and two daughters.

DR Hay

(Volume VII, page 225)

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