Qualifications: BSc Liverp (1914) MB ChB Liverp (1917) MD Liverp (1919) MRACP (1939)
Eric Strawson Stubbs was born at Dudley Port, Warwickshire, England, the younger son of the Reverend Frederick Stubbs and his wife Emma. The family travelled to New Zealand in 1895 and lived at Cust in North Canterbury. Dr Stubbs had his secondary education at the Christchurch Boys' High School after which he returned to England to complete his studies. He passed the London matriculation and proceeded to Liverpool where he completed his BSc in physiology under Sherrington in 1914, and graduated MB ChB (Hons) in 1917. He was gold medallist in his final year.
He served in the RAMC in German East Africa with the rank of captain, commanding a military hospital at Voi. After the War he joined the staff of the Liverpool Royal Infirmary as registrar and tutor in medicine. He gained his MD for a thesis on tropical parasites.
He practised medicine in Derbyshire until 1926 when he returned to New Zealand and established a practice in Oamaru in 1927. He was appointed visiting physician to the Oamaru Public Hospital in that year and held that post for twenty-five years. He continued a wide-ranging general practice and gained his MRACP in 1939. In the Hospital his interests extended to anaesthetics and the control of tuberculosis. He was essentially a general practitioner and gave exemplary service to his patients, to whom he was a skilled and kindly friend, and was held in high regard by all.
He was also `an excellent citizen, notable as a leader in all efforts for the aesthetic improvement of the town and as a redoubtable protagonist of causes'. As a borough councillor, member of the Beautifying Society and founder of the Tree Planting Society he left his mark as a forward-thinking protector and developer of nature's beauty. He was a student of philosophy and was interested in the theoretical aspects of astronomy. He was a man of integrity and purpose, highly respected by fellow practitioners and citizens alike for the professional and aesthetic work he did for his community. He retired from practice in 1963 to Pleasant Point and died in Timaru in 1967.
In 1919 he married Kathleen Pooley of Leicester, England, and they had five children, two sons and three daughters. The older son, Dr CM Stubbs, now of Timaru, and a Fellow of the College, continued his father's practice and hospital appointment until he became a geriatrician.
Author: ES THODEY