Iain James Alister Macfarlane FRCS (Ed), FRACS
10 August 1938 - 3 June 2014
Iain Macfarlane was born in Christchurch in 1938 to Alister and Catherine Macfarlane, a North Canterbury farming family. He was the eldest of the family of four, having two sisters and a brother. Iain commenced his schooling in North Canterbury before attending Heaton Street Primary School in Christchurch and subsequently Christ's College. Deciding on a medical career, he gained entry to the Otago Medical School, graduating in 1963. In Dunedin he initially resided at Selwyn College and subsequently shared a flat on Highgate. Iain married Brenda (nee Morris), a nurse, in 1962 (as he said "the best thing he ever did") after they had met in Auckland when he was employed in holiday work at the Devonport Naval base.
In 1964 Iain commenced work as a house surgeon at Launceston, Tasmania, where he also learnt to fly, went skiing and shared a sailing dinghy. The following year he spent three months as a house surgeon at the Prince Henry Hospital NSW and then several months in general practice in the Alice Springs region. Iain decided to pursue a career in surgery and set off for the UK taking the RCS primary fellowship course in London. This was followed by a further period of study in Edinburgh. He next spent a six month term at the King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban, South Africa then returned to the UK working at Gulson Hospital, Coventry, as a general surgery registrar before completing his FRCS (Ed) in 1967.
With his surgical fellowship Iain returned to Australia where he commenced work as a general practitioner in Medina, West Australia, Brenda assisting with the nursing and typing. He was able to undertake some general surgery at the Fremantle Hospital. During this time their three children were born. In 1971, after having an initial preference for plastic surgery, Iain decided that orthopaedic surgery should be his long term career and he worked as a registrar successively at Withington Hospital Manchester, King Edward VIII Hospital Durban, Wrightington Hospital Wigan, Royal Perth Hospital and Middlemore Hospital Auckland gaining his FRACS in1975.
In 1976 Iain was appointed visiting Orthopaedic Surgeon at Rotorua and Taupo Hospitals and he subsequently established a private practice in Rotorua. He had a significant role in the introduction of hip replacement to the district and took a particular interest in the high incidence of chain saw accidents in the forestry industry. In 1983 Iain convened the New Zealand Orthopaedic Association ASM held at Rotorua. Iain worked at Rotorua during a period of persistent staff shortages and excessive work demands and, because his health was affected, in 1986 he moved, with the family, to a position as orthopaedic surgeon in Saudi Arabia and later in Abu Dhabi. A further move in a long and varied career saw Iain take a position at Rockhampton Base Hospital in Queensland in1989, where he worked as an Orthopaedic Surgeon for five years, then spending a further seven years engaged in medico-legal work. During his career Iain presented numerous papers at meetings and had eighteen papers published in the Orthopaedic literature.
Ceasing clinical work in 2001 Iain and Brenda returned to their 10 acre walnut and chestnut orchard at Hamurana near Lake Rotorua where they had raised their family and which they had retained during their extended time away from New Zealand. In 2008 they moved to a beach front home in Mount Maunganui, Tauranga. Throughout his life Iain maintained an interest in old medical books, collecting editions dating back to the 18th century and subsequently donating some to the Otago Medical School. In addition he accumulated an impressive collection of stamps, old coins, old books and maps. Participation in Bridge, with Brenda partnering him, was a regular activity he enjoyed.
Iain passed away on 3 June 2014 after a long illness. With a warm and engaging personality and very much a family man, Iain lived in his own words 'an interesting and rewarding life'. He is survived by his wife Brenda, three children, Bruce, Clair and Rodney, and eight grandchildren.