Lives of the fellows

John Gerald Hayden

b.3 April 1901 d.26 December 1960
CBE(1945) MB Melb(1923) MD Melb(1925) MRC(1927) FRCP(1941)

John Hayden, son of E. Hayden, was born in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, and educated at its St. Patrick’s College and at Newman College, Melbourne University. As resident medical officer in 1924 he began his life-long association with St. Vincent’s Hospital, proceeding from registrar, honorary physician and dean to its chair of medicine in 1956 when the University department of medicine was instituted. Following post-graduate study in St. Louis, U.S.A., with Evarts Graham, and in London, he settled in consulting practice in 1928 and within a few years had gained a high reputation as a physician with a flair for teaching.

Work was his main hobby. With S. O. Cowen he drew up the bye-laws and articles of association of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, of which he was a foundation fellow; he served on its Board of Censors and was its popular president in 1958. He was a member of the Scientific Committee of the National Health Medical Research Council, of the advisory committee of the Hospitals and Charities Commission, and of the National Heart Foundation, and in charge of a large blood-pressure clinic at St. Vincent’s Hospital. Yet, aware of the dangerous international situation in the 1930’s, he devoted some of his little leisure to the Australian Army Medical Corps.

During the war he served as officer commanding the No. 7 Australian General Hospital in Egypt and New Guinea, for which service he was awarded the C.B.E., and from 1945 was senior consultant to the Army and the repatriation department.

Hayden was greater than his academic achievements, for he was a wise counsellor with a deep and persistent interest in the welfare of his students and junior colleagues. Although in his later years his health was poor he never lost his charm as a host when he entertained friends with his wide knowledge of painting and of the theatre.

He was twice married. His first wife, M. Kelly, whom he married in 1929, died in 1947; they adopted a daughter. By his second wife, Mrs Patricia Bell, whom he married in 1952, he had one son.

Richard R Trail

[The Age, Melbourne, 27 Dec. 1960 (p); Brit.med.J., 1961, 1, 508; Lancet, 1961, 1, 516; Med.J.Aust., 1961, 1, 572-4 (p).]

(Volume V, page 180)

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