Lives of the fellows

Albert Joseph Hawe

b.20 March 1901 d.25 February 1979
CBE(1959) OBE(1953) MRCS LRCP(1923) MB ChB Liverp(1923) DTM&H(1926) MD(1930) MRCP(1930) FRCP(1949)

Albert Hawe was honorary professor of medicine at Ghana Medical School, Accra (formerly the Gold Coast), and a senior consultant physician in Ghana. He was born at Rossmore, Ireland, and studied medicine at the University of Liverpool, where he graduated in 1923. After house appointments, he obtained the DTM&H in 1926, winning the Liverpool University Milne memorial medal in tropical medicine. He subsequently joined the Colonial Medical Service, arriving in Ghana in April 1926, where he was to spend the rest of his life.

Albert was a leading authority on tropical diseases and one of the most respected, skilful and competent physicians in Africa. His ward rounds were calculated to inspire high standards, for his first concern was the well being of his patients, irrespective of colour. He loved Ghana and her people and they in turn loved him dearly. Most of the senior members of the Ghana medical profession worked under him, and he played an important part in shaping their future. He was personal physician to President Kwame Nkrumah, an office he held with distinction. Only members of the Ghanian medical profession would appreciate how much personal trust, patience and medical expertise was needed in this appointment, and Albert Hawe possessed them all in full. He was awarded the John Holt medal for meritorious service by the University of Liverpool, and Ghana honoured him with the Grand Medal in recognition of his selfless service to their country. He was appointed OBE in 1953 and CBE in 1959.

He married Margaret Mary, a Ghanian; a quiet, unselfish woman who cared lovingly for him and their family. Albert was a practising Christian, and his name will remain a household word in Ghana, even in the villages. During his leisure hours he enjoyed gliding, sailing and flying. He obtained his pilot’s licence in the 1920s.

Sir Gordon Wolstenholme
Valérie Luniewska

[Brit.med.J., 1979, 1, 902; Lancet, 1979, 1, 682]

(Volume VII, page 254)

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