Last Update: 04/06/2014 14:28
25 June 1936-20 June 2009
James Macpherson Cartledge died recently at the age of 72 from
complications of haemochromatosis and liver cancer. He was born and
brought up in Launceston, matriculated from Launceston High School
and did first year science at the University of Tasmania. He was
one of the quota of two students selected in 1953 from the whole of
Tasmania to attend Melbourne University to study medicine.
He graduated MB BS in 1958 (his own notes say without
distinction!), although I suspect that his developing wide range of
interests impacted on the time available for study. He went on to
do national service at Point Cook and Laverton.
It was whilst at the Royal Children's Hospital as an RMO that he
decided to become a paediatric surgeon. He was no doubt influenced
by some of the outstanding paediatric surgeons in Melbourne at the
time. His paediatric surgical training continued in Melbourne, Rome
and four years in the UK.
He then, after a further year in Melbourne, settled in Hobart
where for nearly 30 years he was the only trained paediatric
surgeon in Tasmania. I am not sure that many understood the onerous
responsibility that entailed.
The finest surgeons combine the thoughtful almost ecclesiastical
frame of mind of the physician with the military energy and
certainty of the surgeon. Many of Jim's colleagues would contend
that he combined the best of these characteristics. Paediatric
surgeons have the benefit some might say the curse, of working
closely with paediatricians. We are, as it were, always looking
over their shoulders. Jim would always listen carefully to what we
had to say.
No report on Jim's life would be complete without a mention of
his many other interests.
He was an avid and knowledgeable bird watcher, a strong
supporter of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, an active partner in
a vineyard and found time to study for an associate diploma in wine
marketing. He had a great love of real tennis and played for many
Jim was also in the words of Samuel Johnson, 'a clubbable man';
he enjoyed the company of his fellow man. He was a strong supporter
of the AMA and became State President, was on the Medical Council
and had a long association with the Spina Bifida association in
Tasmania, an organisation he had founded.
Jim had values that are a common aspiration for many. Those of
working well, of deep consideration for his fellow man and woman,
of convivial companionship and of professional integrity.
Jim leaves his wife, Heather and his children, Miranda,
Stephanie, Duncan, Robert and Libby by two previous marriages.
Graham Bury, Paediatrician, Hobart
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