Coincident with the opening of the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital in 1912, four new honorary posts were created - two physicians and two surgeons - to staff the new facility. In the advertisement for these posts, it was stated that the two honorary physicians were to be "Lady Physicians". 

 Below are listed first, Children's Physicians appointed during the years that the new children's hospital was in operation, and second, the Children's Surgeons.  Where available, links to a mini-biography are provided.  In general, prior to the 1960s these medical officers were not specifically trained in paediatrics or paediatric surgery, but there was one exception - Dr F Montgomery Spencer (q.v.).  

Children's Physicians

                               Dr Agnes Bennett 1912-1914.       Dr Daisy Platts-Mills 1912-1914

Dr Margaret McCahon 1915Dr Albert E Couzens 1916-1918Dr Thomas H Horrax 1917-1922

Dr Thomas Corkill 1922-1934Dr Alexander Robertson 1922-1926Dr Leslie Austin 1926-1928
.                                 Dr Eldon Litchfield 1928-1932.   Dr F Montgomery Spencer 1934-1939

Dr Spencer was the first Children's Physician to have received training in a children's hospital - the Boston Children's Hospital


                                     Dr N Reay Mackay 1943-1960.         Dr John Harding 1943-1960
Dr H Jeff Weston 1962-1992Dr James Watt 1963-1967Dr Richard T Bush 1967-1978
Dr Athol Arthur 1967-1999Dr A Mark Hoby 1973-1985Dr Russell Franklin 1977-1991
                            Dr Margaret Lewis 1978-1999.    Dr Thorsten Stanley 1980-current

Dr Patricia Buckfield 1982 - 1995.                  Dr David Brabyn 1986               Dr Vaughan Richardson 1986-2021


Children's Surgeons

For most of this period (1912 - 1988), those appointed as children's surgeons were general surgeons with little or no paediatric surgery training.

      Dr Charles Begg 1912-1914Dr Henry M'Lean 1912-1914Dr Harry Gibbs 1914-1924

Dr Robert Campbell-Begg 1917-1923Dr Charles Pattie 1920-1924Dr P Hamilton Robertson 1922-1925
Dr Thomas Usher 1924-1928Dr Alan Park 1925-1930Dr John Plimmer 1930-1936
Mr Eardley Button 1936-1940Dr John Cairney 1936Dr John Zohrab 1936-1939

 Mr Keith Bridge 1937-1940 

From 1940 - 1964, the majority of children's surgery was done by the Resident Surgeon

Mr Herbert McNickle 1940-1946Mr Richard Orgias 1946-1947Mr Allan 'Joe' Pullar 1947-1964
                                        Mr Richard Aldridge 1964-1969.       Mr John McIlwaine 1969-1998

1987 saw the appointment of the first specialist paediatric surgeon, Mr Kevin Pringle, who trained in Melbourne, Chicago and Iowa before coming to Wellington.  There he was appointed Professor at the School of Medicine and for his services to paediatric surgery, he was awarded the ONZM in 2015.

Mr Kevin Pringle ONZM 1987 - 2015

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Last updated 25 March 2022.