Lives of the fellows

Derrick Tomlinson

b.1 August 1919 d.6 November 1987
MB ChB NZ(1945) MRCP(1949) MRACP(1952) FRACP(1965) FRCP(1976)

Derrick Tomlinson died peacefully in the home he loved, from melanoma, after a long struggle against skin cancers. Born in Auckland, he was the only child of Charles Edward Tomlinson -co-founder of Motor Specialties Limited - and his wife Marjorie, née Whitton. There had been two doctors in his mother’s family; brothers who had qualified in Ireland and practised in the South Island.

Derrick was educated at Wanganui Collegiate School and graduated from Otago Medical School. After house surgeon and registrar posts at Auckland Hospital, he came to London in 1949 to take up a post as house physician at Hammersmith Hospital and pursue postgraduate studies. He developed an interest in gastroenterology and for a brief period trained in this specialty in the United States. On his return to Auckland, being at heart a general physician, he entered private practice as a consultant general physician.

He was appointed a part-time visiting physician to the Auckland Hospital Board. The greater part of his professional life was spent at Middlemore Hospital and at the diabetic clinic, Auckland Hospital, having developed an interest and expertise in the management of diabetes. He also served on the medical advisory panel on diabetes and was appointed a medical examiner for the Australian Mutual Provident Society.

Derrick Tomlinson was tall and always well dressed, courteous and witty he was immediately at home with people and bubbled over with the joy of living. He was an enthusiastic sportsman; good at tennis and golf and excellent at skiing. He was a member of the Ruapehu Ski Club and took his family on skiing trips to Europe and Colorado, USA. He also continued the family business interest in Motor Specialties Limited.

In 1953, he married Diana, daughter of Albert Binsted, a distinguished Australian dentist, and they had three daughters. He was a devoted family man who lovingly tended a large garden at his beautiful home. His other interests were books, early New Zealand paintings, classical music and driving fine cars. His wife and family survived him.

D Hanna

(Volume IX, page 523)

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