James Martin OAM FRANZCO FRACS FRCS
4 January 1925 - 27 March 2014
Dr Jim Martin died after illness in March this year. He had retired after a lifetime of service being in the field of Ophthalmology since 1954. He was a resident at the Eye and Ear Hospital in 1954 to 55. He travelled to the United Kingdom in 1957 and was on the staff at Moorefields from 1957 to 1961, where he gained his FRCS. He obtained his FRACS in Melbourne, 1963.
For many years, Dr Martin spent many hours treating patients and teaching in and out of the clinics to the eye registrars. He served in the Ophthalmology Department as Senior Surgeon, later as Head of Department at St Vincent's Hospital (1962 to 1983) and later at the Repatriation Hospital in Heidelberg (1967 to 1991). Before the Medicare system came in in the 80s, this was all on an honorary basis.
Jim was the Honorary Museum Curator for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmology (RANZCO) from 1996 to 2009. He published numerous articles for the college on famous ophthalmologists and their discoveries, as well as eye instrument documentation. He was responsible for putting the collection "on line" in collaboration with the college librarians. He displayed exhibitions of eye instruments at most of the RANZCO annual conferences. For his work especially as curator, he received the RANZCO Meritorious Service Award in 2009. He had been an examiner for the RACO/RACS College exams for several years.
From 1981 to 1988, he travelled to Bangladesh teaching cataract surgery to post graduate students. He spent time working with the Fred Hollows program as well.
He has always been involved in his church and community activities. He was invested as a Knight of the Sovereign order of St John of Jerusalem in 2007.
Jim was happily married to Helen and nearly reached 90 years of age. He leaves 4 children and 5 grandchildren.
He was a brilliant surgeon and teacher and inspired many registrars. He had worked in my practice until retirement in 2004 and one cannot help but see the care, diligence and expertise of this man with his patients and colleagues. His patients thought highly of him and many considered him their friend.
Jim received his OAM for services to Ophthalmology in 2013, but humble as he was, he felt that he had not done enough to deserve the award. He was exceptionally particular in making sure "things were correct" and I valued his criticism and advice, since I always was given a truthful opinion. I am sure he would want to vet this article prior to it being published. Unfortunately, he will not be around evermore to do this.
Obituary kindly provided by Mr Mark F. Ellis AM, FRACS