Lives of the fellows

Errol Everard Hannah

b.21 September 1929 d.7 June 2013
MB ChB New Zealand(1952) MRCP(1955) MRACP(1958) FRACP(1969) FRCP(1975)

Errol Everard Hannah was a consultant physician in Christchurch, New Zealand. He was born in Christchurch, the second son of Leonard Harold Hannah, a building contractor, and Emily Hannah. He was educated at Redcliffs and St Albans primary schools, St Andrew’s College, and Otago University Medical School, graduating in 1952. He was awarded the Ardagh memorial prize for the most outstanding final year student at Christchurch Hospital.

After one year as a resident medical officer at Christchurch Hospital, he travelled to the UK, where he attended the Postgraduate Medical School of London at Hammersmith Hospital. He was then a house physician and subsequently a medical registrar at St Stephen’s and Bolingbroke hospitals in London. In 1955 he gained his MRCP.

He returned to New Zealand in 1957, where for several months he held a locum post in general practice. In 1958 he was appointed to the position of senior medical registrar and medical tutor at Christchurch Hospital. This latter role involved the teaching of final year medical students. Also in 1958 he gained his membership of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

In 1961 Errol was appointed to the post of specialist physician to the North Canterbury Hospital Board. This was a part-time position, working initially at Burwood Hospital and later at Christchurch Hospital. He also started a private practice in the city, which he continued until 1997.

In 1973 he was transferred to the cardiology department at the Princess Margaret Hospital, where his duties included both general medicine and cardiology. He was also appointed as a clinical lecturer to the Christchurch Clinical School, and later became a clinical reader. In addition to these duties he was, for many years, a lecturer in medicine to the Christchurch Hospital School of Nursing.

As a result of his interest in cardiology, Errol had the responsibility of reporting the electrocardiogram tracings, both inpatient and outpatient, until his retirement in 1993.

After his retirement from Christchurch Hospital, he assumed the position of medical officer at Mary Potter Home and Hospital in Christchurch, caring for the elderly residents. He held this position for some eight years. He was also a medical referee for cremations for over 40 years.

Errol was a member of the Christchurch Hospital Postgraduate Society, and later served on the committee of the New Zealand Postgraduate Medical Federation for 19 years, finally as chairman. He was an examiner to the Otago Medical School, and was a member of the board of censors of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. He was a member of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand, and a member of the medical advisory committee and the medical appointments advisory committee of the North Canterbury Hospital Board. In addition, he served as chairman of the medical advisory committee of the Canterbury Medical Research Foundation.

Outside medicine, Errol was always interested in sport. While at St Andrew’s College, he won the junior mile championship, and was a member of the 1946 first XV rugby team, which won the interschool championship. Later he played regular social tennis until 1989, when he suffered a myocardial infarction while playing and was advised, after recovery, not to resume the game.

Errol married Zeta Mabel Parnham, a registered nurse at Christchurch Hospital, in 1954. Zeta died in 2006. He was survived by their three daughters, Elizabeth, Rosemary and Sarah, and six grandchildren.

Sarah Dalman

(Volume XII, page web)

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