Lives of the fellows

Alan Colin Hayton

b.24 July 1924 d.7 November 2012
MB ChB Otago(1942) FRCP(1973) FRACP

Alan Colin Hayton was a general practitioner in New Zealand. Born in Hawara, Taranaki, he was the third son and fifth child of Ernest Colin Hayton and Lilian May née Dickson. Educated at Central School and New Plymouth Boys’ High School, he studied medicine at Otago University Medical School.

He graduated in 1942 and, three years later, joined the Royal New Zealand Army Medical Corps and was posted to Fiji.

Demobilised in 1947 with the rank of major, he returned to New Plymouth and entered general practice. He liked to describe himself as working as ‘a general jobbing physician’ before his retirement in 1987. He was interested in sports medicine and also wrote a number of books on the history of medicine. Even in the final year of his life, by which time he was in a care home, he was doing research and would send his visiting wife home with requests to check his facts on Google. Several ex-patients commented that they got a history lesson when they went to the clinic to consult him.

He was a keen on fly fishing and sailing dinghies. Passionate about computers, an interest he shared with his wife, he always had at least three on in his home.

In the 1960s his wife, Dorothy née Perry caught polio and, eventually, died. One of the nurses at his surgery, Shirley Edgar, helped him with his domestic life during Dorothy’s illness and, some years after her death, they married in 1971. Shirley had also been married before and they both had three children. When he died, after nearly a year in Tainui Rest Home, Shirley survived him together with their children; Ross, Max, Mark, Dennis, Cheryl and Carol; and 15 grandchildren.

RCP editor

[Diary of the Clan Keith www.ceiteach.org.nz/.../1001%20Siol%20nan%20Ceiteach%20Autumn; Taranaki Daily News http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/7935919/Doctor-remembered-for-devotion-to-facts-medicine; Auckland War Memorial Museum www.aucklandmuseum.com/war-memorial/online-cenotaph/record/C121261# - all accessed 1 July 2015]

(Volume XII, page web)

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