Lives of the fellows

Donald Ward Beaven

b.31 August 1924 d.4 November 2009
MB ChB New Zealand(1949) FRACP(1965) FRCP Edin(1966) FRCP(1972)

Donald Ward Beaven was foundation professor of medicine at Christchurch, New Zealand. Born in Christchurch, he was the son of Malcolm Ward Beaven,an engineer and company director, and his wife, Ethel Ruthven née Greig, whose father, John, was director of a construction company. His was a medical family, two uncles and two cousins all qualified as surgeons. Educated at Christ’s College School in New Zealand, he studied medicine at Otago University and Dunedin Hospital. After qualifying in 1949, he did house jobs in Christchurch and then travelled to London to work as a registrar at the Royal Northern and Central Middlesex hospitals from 1951 to 1954.

He returned to Christchurch in 1955 and was appointed a medical tutor. After two years, he travelled to the US and was a Fulbright research fellow at Harvard and an associate at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston from 1958 to 1959. In 1960 he became a senior lecturer at Otago University and the first director of the teaching and research unit in Christchurch. After 12 years he was appointed foundation professor of medicine in Christchurch and chairman of hospital services for the North Canterbury hospital board, in 1972. A fellow of the Royal Australian College of Physicians (RACP), he was also a fellow of the Edinburgh College and the RCP.

The author of over 70 publications mainly on endocrinologoy. metabolism and diabetes mellitus, he was also an examiner to the faculty of home science at Otago. President of the New Zealand Endocrine Society, he was also on the RACP censors board and the Dieticians Board of the NZ Government. For many years he was on the executive of the Canterbury Medical Research Foundation.

On the committee of the New Zealand Alpine Club, he was a keen mountaineer, as was his brother, who was a Himalayan climber and friend of Sir Edmund Hilary. He loved chamber music and enjoyed reading about wine, his country’s history and books by New Zealand novelists.

In 1956 he married a violinist, Teresa Josephine née Fahey, whose her father, Cecil Alphonsus, was a dental surgeon. They had two daughters. His first marriage did not last and he was survived by his second wife, Gillian.

RCP editor

(Volume XII, page web)

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