Allan Gordon Campbell

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Allan Gordon Campbell DSO, MS, FRCS, FRACS

ALLAN GORDON CAMPBELL, known as AG, was born on May 4, 1916, in Adelaide, the first child of Iris (née Fisher) and Gordon Campbell. His sister, Judith, was born in 1920.

Schooled at St Peter's College, Allan entered the University of Adelaide Medical School at 16. At university, he excelled at sprinting, as had his father. By remarkable coincidence both held the junior and senior State Sprint Championships and Inter-University 100 yards championship 30 years apart.

After graduating in 1938, Allan became Resident Medical Officer at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH). His registrar, Dr Ina Fox, three years his senior, later became his wife. In 1940, he became an RMO at the Adelaide Children's Hospital. His grandfather, Dr Allan Campbell, who was married to Florence Ann (sister of Sir Samuel Way, Lieutenant-Governor and Chief Justice), founded the hospital in 1876.

Allan joined the Royal Australian Naval Reserve as Surgeon Lieutenant in 1939. During World War II, he served on the destroyer HMAS Vendetta. In 1941 following evacuation from Greece, Allan, then 25, was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for service and bravery. 

While on leave, he married Dr Ina Fox in 1942 at St Peter's College Chapel. After discharge, in 1945, Allan returned to Adelaide to join a general practice at Hindmarsh. He then began surgical training at theRAH. He gained Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 1949 and Master of Surgery in 1950. 

At that time, to practice in Australian public hospitals, Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons, England, was required. Allan attended Hammersmith Hospital, London, then Warrington General Hospital, Lancashire. He was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1951.

On return to Adelaide in 1953 Allan was appointed Honorary Assistant Surgeon at theRAH, becoming Honorary Surgeon in 1963. His vision - broader than usual at the time - included the surgery of trauma and lead to the mentorship of a succession of younger sub-specialty surgeons. Upon abolition of the honorary system in 1970, he became a Senior Visiting Surgeon in 1971.  Throughout this time he held teaching appointments in Surgery and Surgical Anatomy at the University of Adelaide Medical School, was a member of the Curriculum Committee of the Faculty of Medicine, the Foreign Practitioners Assessment Committee, the Advisory Committees to the University of Adelaide,RAHand Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and was Visiting Specialist in General Surgery to the Department of Repatriation.

In 1976 following establishment of Flinders Medical Centre, Professor Jim Watts offered Allan, then 60, the position of Senior Visiting Surgeon which he accepted. In those days, it was unusual for a Senior Surgeon to move from an established position to new territory, but Allan's sense of adventure, wisdom, practicality and humility ensured the move was successful.  He retired fromFMCin 1981, aged 65.

For years, Allan conducted his private practice from the Botanic Chambers opposite theRAH. He also visited Angaston and Mount Gambier Hospitals.  Allan was a mentor and role model to several generations of surgeons and offered wise counsel in difficult clinical and management scenarios. He was a life member of the AMA.

Although a keen golfer, Allan chose rose-growing as his hobby, so he could be on call and near the family. It also provided opportunities to meet people outside of medicine. He was an adept horticulturalist. At its peak, his home garden boasted around 800 rose bushes, as well as camellias, orchids, hydrangeas and fruit trees. 

Allan was involved with the Rose Society for 50 years. He was president inSouth Australiafrom 1974 to 1976, and nationally in 1975 and 1981. He was a judge at Rose Society Shows and a delegate to meetings of the World Federation of Rose Societies.  For service to the Rose in Australia, he received the T.A. Stewart Memorial Award in 1976 and the Australian Rose Award in 1981.

Allan established rose gardens at various hospitals, including theRAHin 1976.  A commemorative plaque was later placed its North Terrace end. Allan was a national representative on the Board of the National Rose Trial Garden at the Botanic Gardens. He established a rose garden at Pineview Retirement Village and his monthly notes on Rose Care were published in a book "Pineview Roses - A Rose Lover's Handy Guide", proceeds of which go to the Women's and Children's Hospital.

Allan and Ina were active members of their local church, St Chad's, Fullarton, for 50 years. Allan served on the Parish Council and was the Synod Representative for years.  He was a generous financial supporter of the Parish. Allan and Ina held many open days of their garden in Fisher Street to raise funds for the Parish.  

Allan and Ina celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1992.Allan was devastated when Ina died suddenly in 1998. 

Allan died on June 29, 2011, aged 95. He is survived by his two daughters, Anne and Elizabeth and two grandchildren, Alexandra and Andrew. He is remembered as a hard-working, conscientious, talented, generous and humble gentleman who maintained dignity and humour until the very end.

Dr Elizabeth Thompson

Dr Elizabeth Thompson is Allan Campbell's daughter. She thanks here sister, Dr Anne Campbell, and many former colleagues, for their input.