Brian Thomas Shearman
29 June 1930 - 18 January 2017
It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Brian Thomas Shearman MB BS (Hons), DLO, FRACS, (1930 - 2017).
Brian grew up at Lindfield, was dux of Shore School and graduated with honours from Sydney University where he was awarded the Robin May Prize. Starting his ENT training at Sydney Hospital, he then undertook an otology fellowship in Detroit in the United States. He returned to ENT practice in northern Sydney retiring in 1997 to pursue other interests. One of his lifelong passions was music. Being an accomplished amateur violinist, he enjoyed his many opportunities to play in varied groups including the Doctors' Orchestra up until his death.
The Brian Shearman Memorial Fund has been established to celebrate his life and will be used to pay for an additional Scholarship in the NSW Doctors Orchestra Sydney Eisteddfod Instrumental Scholarships (16 - 25 years) from 2017 and into the future.
Brian was born at home in Greenwich, NSW on 29 June, 1930. The second child of Violet Lillie and Donald James Shearman, Brian excelled early in primary school, initially at Greenwich Public School. After the family moved to Grosvenor Road, Lindfield, Brian attended Lindfield Demonstration School (as it was then known - now called Lindfield Public School) where again he excelled.
Of note, he was awarded a number of prizes by amongst others, Mr William Young, the President of the P&C. Neither of them knew that years later, little Brian was to meet Mr Young's gorgeous daughter to whom he would be married for 57 years.
He entered Shore Preparatory School in 1941 and throughout his schooling was awarded many prizes. He was the recipient of the Under 14 Scholarship (no. 2) for 1944/6, Lodge Torch Bearer Prize in 1945, Russell Sinclair Memorial Prize in 1946, a University Exhibition prize in 1946, the Burke Prize and United Services Prize in 1947, John Kingsmill Phillips Prize in 1947, ABS White Scholarship in 1947, Monteith Cowper Wood Memorial Prize in 1947 and Liversidge Scholarship for Chemistry in 1947. He was a prefect, a Cadet Second Lieutenant and played for the Shore First XI.
Undertaking the Leaving Certificate in 1946 he achieved honours in Physics and Chemistry. However due to his young age, it was deemed appropriate he should repeat the Leaving Certificate before attending University. The 1947 Leaving Certificate saw him achieve 1st in General Proficiency (Dux) of Shore School as well as 1st class honours and 1st in the state in both Physics and Chemistry.
His association with Shore has been maintained throughout his life with his regular attendance at reunions including his 70 year reunion in 2016.
Becoming known as Broad Grins to his university friends, he attended the University of Sydney Medical School from 1948 to 1953, graduating in 1953 with an MB BS with Honours. He was hospital representative on the Medical Society Council for three years while a student at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital during which time he was credited with many improvements in the student curriculum.
Furthermore, in that final year he was awarded the Robin May Memorial Prize. This Prize was nominated by the undergraduate year and ratified by the Dean. It was awarded for a student "who displayed leadership and good-fellowship throughout the undergraduate years".
While excelling academically throughout his undergraduate years, he maintained extensive outside interests including the Musical Society where he sang regularly in the Choir as a tenor, and as a talented violinist. He won high praise from notable music critics and gave numerous recitals and radio broadcasts with well-known professional musicians. He also served on the Medical Society Council and represented the University in badge tennis.
Following graduation, he was one of the principal organisers of the "Medical Graduates of 1954" reunions.
Brian worked from 1955 to 1960 in General Practice in the Ashbury and Croyden Park area, before going on to specialise in Ear Nose and Throat Surgery, attaining his Fellowship in the Royal Australian College of Surgeons (FRACS) with a Diploma in Laryngology and Otorhinology (DLO) through the University of Sydney. He undertook this training as an ENT Surgical Registrar at Sydney Hospital from 1962 to 1964. During that time, he was also a Demonstrator in Anatomy at Sydney University.
He then took up a 2 year position as Fellow in Otology at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, USA.
Upon his return in 1967, he practiced ear, nose and throat surgery in Sydney, with a special interest in microsurgery of the ear. He had appointments at Sydney Hospital, Balmain, Ryde, Hornsby and Sydney Adventist Hospitals.
Throughout his career, he actively participated in a number of related professional bodies including the Australian Society of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. He was Head of ENT surgery at Hornsby and Sydney Adventist Hospitals and was Chairman for the NSW section of the Otolaryngological Society of Australia as well as State Representative to the Federal Council. He was also Chairman of the VMO Council at Hornsby Hospital.
Following his retirement in 1997, he vigorously pursued his passion for the violin, which he had first started to play at age 6. During his time at Shore, he led the Shore School Orchestra. In 1948, he was awarded the Josef Kretschmann Club Scholarship and a Musical Association of New South Wales Exhibition and in 1949, he won the Instrumental Section of the Federated Music Clubs of NSW Scholarship. He performed at various music clubs around Sydney including the clubs of Killara, Lindfield and Roseville.
He became very involved with many musical groups during retirement including the NSW and the Australian Doctors Orchestras, Orchestra 143 and enjoyed organising and participating in many chamber music groups, deriving great camaraderie through these groups and the Amateur Chamber Music Society. His home was always filled with music. He published a short document for RACS Surgical News in June 2006, titled "Pleasure at your leisure" discussing the merits of retirement when combined with the joys of the intellectual and physical pursuit of music.
His other interests over the years have included cricket, tennis, golf, bridge, walking and Probus where he was local President in 2003. He also enjoyed volunteer work at the Shore School Archives.
He had a delightful personality with a great sense of humor. He was humble, tolerant, patient, sympathetic, generous, tenacious, resilient and more.
He was a devoted husband to Margaret (nee Young of Lindfield) and a magnificent father to his two children, Don and Christine. He was an adored grandfather to Don's daughters, Paige and Arabella and to Christine's children Myles and Eloise (Kinchington).
A true gentleman, a gentle man, husband, father, grandfather, doctor, amateur musician and friend, he loved life and embraced all his opportunities. He derived great pleasure in all his pursuits. He leaves an amazing legacy and will be greatly missed by all those who met him.
The Brian Shearman Memorial Fund has been established to celebrate his life and will be used to pay for an additional Scholarship in the NSW Doctors Orchestra Sydney Eisteddfod Instrumental Scholarship (16 - 25 years) from 2017 and into the future.
(Account name: Sydney Eisteddfod, BSB 062 005, Account number 2801 5557, Reference: DrBrianShearman).
Christine Shearman B Med (Hons), FRANZCR