Lives of the fellows

John Arthur Keeling

b.20 June 1916 d.24 January 1966
MB ChB NZ(1939) MRCP(1948) MRACP(1950) FRACP(1958) FRCP(1965)

John Arthur Keeling was born at Apia, the capital of Samoa, the son of Arthur Duguid Keeling, a banker, and his wife Maud Isabel, daughter of William John Bayly, a shoemaker. Both his parents were well known citizens of Auckland. He was educated at New Plymouth Boys High School and the University of Otago, where he graduated MB ChB in 1939. His early professional life embraced service on the resident staff of Auckland Hospital as house physician and house surgeon, and as medical registrar. During the second world war he joined the medical services of the RNZAF and saw active service in the Pacific. Later he commanded a mobile field hospital RNZAF (Territorial) and was posted to the Reserve with the rank of Wing-Commander. In 1946 he came to England for a course of postgraduate study and was appointed medical registrar to the King George Hospital, Ilford, taking his MRCP in 1948.

On his return to New Zealand he commenced private practice in Wellington as a consulting physician. In 1949 he was appointed consultant physician to the Wellington Hospital and took his MRACP in 1950. He was a member of the New Zealand branch of the BMA, honorary secretary to the Wellington Division from 1952-1954, and president of the Division in 1962. He was honorary physician to the Governor-General of New Zealand from 1955-1956, and a member of the special committee on pharmaceutical benefits. He represented New Zealand at the international conference on antibiotics in Washington, USA, in 1954. He was elected FRACP in 1958. He served on the Medical Research Council of New Zealand from 1961 to 1964, and was consultant physician to the RNZAF from 1962 to 1964. He was also subdean of the Wellington Branch of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Otago, chairman of the Dominion Committee, a member of Council of the RACP and chairman of the joint committees of the three Royal Colleges in New Zealand. He was assistant editor of the New Zealand Medical Journal.

In 1947 he married Joan Doris, daughter of Oscar John Edwards, MBE, a shipping officer with the Port of London Authority. They had two sons, Philip and Richard. Whenever he could spare the time, he took an active part in lawn tennis and fishing.

John Keeling was an outstanding figure in Australasian medicine, talented and unassuming, and gained the confidence of all with whom he came in contact. He had great skill as a tutor and was held in the highest regard as a consultant. His concern was always to foster and maintain the standards of medicine in the community. He was extremely conscientious and had a deep sense of public duty. He faced a desperate final illness, at the peak of his career, with great faith and courage.

Sir Gordon Wolstenholme
V Luniewska

[Brit.med.J., 1966, 1, 238]

(Volume VI, page 263)

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