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Macpherson, Dr. Cluny

  • Persoon
  • 1879-1966

Cluny Macpherson (1879-1966), physician and soldier, was born 18 March 1879 in St. John’s, Newfoundland, one of two sons (one brother, Harold) born to Campbell Macpherson and Emma Duder. He completed his early schooling at Methodist College in St. John’s and then continued his education at McGill University in Montréal. There, Macpherson earned his degree in Medicine (1897-1901), and at the same time volunteered with the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen, of which the Newfoundland Branch came to be known as the Grenfell Mission. Upon graduation from McGill, Dr. Macpherson began his medical career at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

In the following year Dr. Macpherson returned to Newfoundland to join Dr. Wilfred Grenfell’s Labrador Mission, and was placed in charge of the hospital in Battle Harbour, Labrador. He also served as magistrate for the area. Dr. Macpherson remained there until 1904, when he returned to St. John’s to begin private practice. Dr. Macpherson also received government commissions during this time, such as in 1909 when he went to the southwest coast to fight a smallpox epidemic. Dr. Macpherson also continued his involvement with the International Grenfell Association (IGA), eventually serving as a director of both the IGA and the Grenfell Association, Newfoundland. He also played a key role in the development, structuring and operation of the Seamen’s Institute (later called the King George V Institute), another Grenfell project.

Dr. Macpherson was involved with the St. John Ambulance Association, which led to the creation of the St. John Ambulance Brigade with three divisions in St. John’s. When World War I broke out, members of the Ambulance Brigade enlisted in the Newfoundland Regiment. Macpherson organized these people into an Ambulance Unit, which continued throughout the war. Macpherson himself enlisted on 21 September 1914, at the rank of captain (the same year that he became a director of the family business, The Royal Stores). He was appointed Principal Medical Officer, 1st Newfoundland Regiment, went overseas in March 1915 and later appointed Major on 7 August 1915. He served in France, Belgium, Egypt, Salonica and was eventually transferred to Gallipoli where he acted as an advisor on poisonous gas, which the Allies feared Germany was about to use there. He used a German helmet taken from a captured prisoner to fashion a canvas hood with transparent eyepieces that was treated with chlorine-absorbing chemicals. In doing so, he invented the gas mask, now used by millions of military troops around the world.

Following injury in Egypt, Macpherson returned to Newfoundland, October 1916, and served as Director of Medical Services for the Militia. He was appointed a member of the first War Office Committee on poisonous gases, and also director of medical services for Newfoundland during World War I. He was demobilized on 9 September 1919 at the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

Dr. Macpherson played a continual role in the medical profession, in capacities such as President of the St. John’s Clinical Society and the Newfoundland Medical Association. He was vice-president of the Newfoundland St. John Ambulance Association in 1937, and later became assistant commissioner of the St. John Ambulance Brigade overseas. He was Chairman of the Commissioners-In-Lunacy, which instituted periodic inspections and an appeal mechanism for patients at the Lunatic Asylum (now the Waterford Hospital). Dr. Macpherson was also the Registrar of the Newfoundland Medical Board. After Confederation with Canada (1949), he became a member of the Medical Council of Canada (1949 onwards) and from 1954 to 1955 he was the second Newfoundlander to serve as President, the first being the founder of the council itself, Sir Thomas Roddick, who was born in Harbour Grace in 1846. Dr. Macpherson was also Honorary President of the St. John Ambulance Association during World War II.

Cluny Macpherson received many honours and awards in his lifetime. He was made a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (1918); Honorary President of the Newfoundland Council of the St. John Ambulance (1953); Honorary Vice-President of the Newfoundland Council of Canadian Red Cross (1953); member of Medical Council of Canada (President 1954-1955); elected a Fellow of the British Royal College of Surgeons (1955); invested as a Knight of Justice of the Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem (1955) (reclassification of Knight of Grace of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, 1913); elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (14 January 1957); and was awarded an honorary degree by Memorial University (1962). He was also Honorary President of the Clan Macpherson Association of Canada and Honorary Vice-President of the parent association.

In 1902, Dr. Macpherson married Eleanora Barbara Thompson (O.B.E., Dame of Order of St. John of Jerusalem, died 1964), daughter of William Macleod Thompson, Northumberland County, ON; Dr. Macpherson remained in St. John’s until his death on 16 November 1966.

Roberts, Dr. Kenneth B.

  • Persoon
  • 1923-2012

Kenneth Bryson Roberts (1923-2012), physician, professor and 1st Associate Dean of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, was born in London, England in 1923, the son of William Charles and Mary Arabella (Pleace) Roberts. He was educated at Emandel School, Wandsworth, London and graduated from the University of London (MB, BS, MRCS, LRCP) in 1945. He received a BA from the University of Oxford in 1949 and a DPhil degree in 1953. Dr. Roberts began his academic career as a research scientist at Oxford University (Oxford School of Pathology, 1949-1954) and later taught at the Medical College, Baghdad (Associate Professor of Physiology, 1956-1961). From there, he moved to the University of Edinburgh (Senior Lecturer in Physiology, 1956-1961) and then to the University of London (Reader in Psychology, 1961-1967).

In 1968, Dr. Roberts was appointed the first Associate Dean of Medicine and Professor of Physiology for the new Medical School at Memorial University. In 1975 he resigned as Associate Dean to devote himself to full-time teaching and research as Professor of Physiology. In 1983 he became the first John Clinch Professor of Medical History at Memorial. This position allowed him to collect and care for valuable medical texts, produce historical lectures, and teach in special history of medicine courses. He retired from this post in 1988.

Dr. Roberts held positions in a variety of medical organizations, serving on the executive committee of the Medical Research Council of Canada, as chairman of the Scientific Committee of the Canadian Heart Foundation and on the executive committee of the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine. He was founding editor of the Canadian Bulletin of Medical History, has contributed to a number of books and published papers in pathology, physiology, molecular biology, the history of medicine and higher education, and co-authored a major work with MUN colleague J.D.W. Tomlinson.

Dr. Roberts married Ruth Mary (May) Catchpool and they had four children: Daniel, Peter, Alason, and Benjamin. He moved to New Germany, Nova Scotia, Canada and later returned to the UK. Dr. Roberts died 17 December 2012.

Murphy, Dr. H. Bliss

  • Persoon
  • 1914-1992

Dr. H. Bliss Murphy (1914-1992), physician, was born in St. John's, Newfoundland on 29 May 1914, the son of Dr. G.N. and Enid M. (Berteau) Murphy. He was educated at Bishop Feild College, Memorial University in St. John's, and at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he earned a M.D.C.M. in 1941. One year later, he graduated from the University of Toronto with a Diploma in Radiology. He served in the Royal Canadian Air Force from Fall of 1943 to June 1946 and upon discharge returned to St. John's as Consultant to the American Base at Fort Pepperel.

After returning to Newfoundland, Dr. Murphy held a number of professional positions and appointments including Member of the Board of the Canadian Cancer Society, Consultant to Newfoundland Cancer Foundation, President of the St. John's Clinical Society, President of Staff for the General Hospital, Chief of Staff for the General Hospital, Medical Director for X-Ray Technology at the Trades and Technical College and a Clinical Lecturer at Memorial University's Medical School.

Over the years, Dr. Murphy was involved in many clubs and associations. These included the Rotary (St. John's Club), the Bally Haly Golf and Country Club, the Newfoundland Game Fish Protection Society, the Riverdale Tennis Club, the Masonic Club, and was President of the Feildian Gardens Association. On 16 April 1942, he married Ruperta Angel and they had four children: Anne Elizabeth (Yardley), John Robert, Susan Margaret and Barbara Louise.

Snellen, Dr. Jan B.

  • Persoon
  • 1925-2000

Dr. Jan Snellen (1925-2000), physician and researcher, was born in 1925 in the Netherlands, and obtained his medical degree from the University of Leiden in 1954. In 1966, he earned a doctorate in physiology from the University of Nijmegen, Holland. Following work in Holland and South Africa, he joined the medical school of Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1970. Over the years, he held joint appointments in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and the School of Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics. He retired from full-time work with the medical school in 1990 but continued on a part-time basis until 31 August, 1997.

Dr. Jan Snellen, a world-recognized authority in the area of human thermo dynamics, supervised one of the very few specialized total body calorimeters in the world. Following Dr. Snellen's retirement, the calorimeter, a cylindrical room with an adjustable inside temperature, was relocated to the Defence and Civil Institute of Environmental Medicine in North York, Ontario. Much of Dr. Snellen's research, which was supported by the Canadian Department of Defence, concentrated on the study of whole body heat exchange with the environment. Throughout his years at Memorial, Snellen became known as a teacher, friend, mentor and role model for many of Memorial's medical students and faculty.

Dr. Jan Snellen passed away on 26 July 2000 at St. Clare's Hospital in St. John's. He left to mourn: in Canada, his wife Lydia Snellen-de-Bruyn, daughter Anna, sons Jan Bart and Christian and grandchildren Fatima Joy, Marc, Robert and Sandy; in England, his sister Minnie with Piet v.d. Loon; in the Netherlands, his sister-in-law Nell Snellen and brother-in-law Gerrit Jan with Jopie de Bruyn.

Rogers, Daniel

  • Persoon
  • 1736-1800

Daniel Rogers (1736-1800) was a successful merchant and shipowner in Cape Ann, Massachusetts, during the Revolutionary period. In 1774, he owned or held shares in 10 different vessels, chiefly fishing schooners employed on the banks. Although many of them were lost to the British Navy or to natural decay during the War for Independence, Rogers recouped his fortune in the 1780s and 1790s and died a wealthy man.

Graham, Frank William

  • Persoon
  • 1906-1991

Frank William Graham (1906-1991), athlete, author, sports historian and archivist was born in St. John's, Newfoundland, on 10 April 1906. He was unmarried. Graham died on 17 September 1991 in Peterborough, Ontario and is buried in St. John's.

Graham was educated at St. Bonaventure's College, St. John's. He was employed by Imperial Oil for 35 years and served as Corner Brook's western sales manager for four years (1950-1954). He retired in 1964.

Throughout Graham's life he was an avid sports enthusiast. As a young man he played on the St. Bonaventure's intercollegiate soccer and hockey teams (1924-1926) and was a member of six Boyle Trophy championship teams (1928, 1930-1933, 1938). He remained an avid golfer and fisherman throughout his life. He was secretary of the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame (founded 1973) selection committee (1973-1975), honourary secretary (1975-1977), and a member of the Hall of Fame Board of Governors (1979-1981). He was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame 2 November 1985. As Sports Archivist he accumulated an extensive variety of sports history and memorabilia. Graham served as first Sports Archivist from 1974 until his death.

Intensely interested in Newfoundland history Frank Graham was the author of three books, "We love thee Newfoundland": a biography of Cavendish Boyle (1979), Ahead of Her Time; a Biography of Ellen Carberry (1987), and Ready - Set - Go! A St. John's Sports Pictorial (1988), and was a frequent contributor to the local Seniors' News, a St. John's publication.

Bourke, Edmund

  • Persoon
  • 1756-1826

Edmund Bourke (1756-1826), Catholic priest, was born in County Tipperary, Ireland, in 1756. He became a professed member of the Dominican Order of Preachers and studied for the priesthood in the convents of Corpo Santo, Lisbon, and St. Maria da Victoria, Batalha, Portugal. Bourke returned to Ireland circa 1782 as an ordained priest and ministered to the congregation of Waterford from 1784 to 1785.

In 1786, Rev. Bourke became the first regularly authorized missionary to come to Newfoundland under the leadership of Rev. James Louis O'Donel, Prefect Apostolic of the island. He was appointed to Placentia, where he served with distinction. His success in spreading Catholicism in the area brought him into conflict with Prince William Henry (later King William IV) when the prince visited that town. He also built a presbytery and a chapel at Placentia.

Michael Francis Howley, Bishop of St. John's, stated in his Ecclesiastical History of Newfoundland that Bourke left Newfoundland in 1798, the year of the Irish rebellion, and took up residence in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Howley felt that Bourke left because he was in some way implicated in the Irish rebellion and feared the vengeance of British authorities at Newfoundland. It is thought that he was a brother of Dr. Bourke, the first Bishop of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

While working in Halifax, Rev. Bourke experienced difficulties with the Irish in his congregation and with the trustees of the church. In the autumn of 1801, he returned to Cork, Ireland, where he worked from 1801 to 1816. In 1817, he accepted an appointment in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and remained there until he died on 12 January 1826 at the age of 70.

Rev. Bourke was one of the three priests who signed the petition requesting the elevation of Rev. O'Donel to episcopal ranking. His surname appears alternately as Burke or Borke in archdiocesan archival papers.

Savin, John D.

  • Persoon
  • 1896-1949

John D. Savin (1896-1949), Catholic priest and orator, was born at Bell Island, Conception Bay, Newfoundland, in 1896 and raised by his adoptive mother, a Mrs. Savin. He died at Verdun, Montreal on 19 May 1949 and was buried at Cote de Neiges Cemetery.

Savin attended St. Bonaventure's College, St. John's (1901-10). Following graduation he worked at the Reid Newfoundland Railway (RNR) Company (1910 -1912). During these years he also pursued a classical course of studies under the direction of Rev. William Kitchen, the parish priest of St. Joseph's Parish, St. John's. In 1912 Savin began his studies for the priesthood at Holy Heart Seminary, Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he was a seminarian from 1912-18. Savin was ordained a priest on 18 June 1918, in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, St. John's, by Edward Patrick Roche, Archbishop of St. John's.

Rev. Savin's first appointments as curate were at St. Patrick's Parish, St. John's, and Holy Rosary Parish, Argentia, (1918-21). In 1929 Savin was transferred to Sacred Heart Parish, Oderin, Placentia Bay, where he remained for approximately one year (1929-1930). Rev. Savin was recognized as an orator. On 30 March 1930 he delivered an address to the Holy Cross Literary Association on "Some Examples of Character." In 1941 he was appointed as a curate in St. Patrick's Parish, St. John's where he resided until 1949.

Rev. Savin served in the Archdiocese until 1943, when he was advised to go to Montreal for medical care. Gaining only a partial restoration to health, he was advised by his doctors to remain in Montreal. He was assigned light duties in St. Willibrord's Parish, Verdun, Archdiocese of Montreal, where he died in 1949.

O'Connor, Thomas

  • Persoon
  • 1813-1884

Thomas O'Connor (1813-1884), Catholic priest, was born in Ireland in 1813. His brother, Rev. John O'Connor, also served in Newfoundland. Rev. Thomas O'Connor died at Portugal Cove on 23 June 1884.

O'Connor was ordained a priest in 1834. He was invited to the the Vicariate Apostolic of Newfoundland by Michael Anthony Fleming (circa 1834) and he remained in Newfoundland for 50 years. Rev. O'Connor served as curate in the parish at Harbour Grace (1834-1842), Holy Trinity Parish, Ferryland (1842-1845) and in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist Parish, St. John's.

In 1845, Rev. O'Connor was appointed the parish priest of Holy Rosary Parish, Portugal Cove, and ministered there until 1884. O'Connor also acted as Vicar General of the Diocese of St. John's from 1868 to 1884. He was known as a strong advocate of temperance and supported the work of the Total Abstinence and Benefit Society.

Keneally, John

  • Persoon
  • 1841-1932

John Keneally (1841-1932), planter and master mariner, was born on September 1841, son of Johanna and James Keneally. James had emigrated from Cork in 1815; Johanna ran a dry-goods store in Carbonear. John married Mary Josephine Power on 31 January 1883 at Carbonear, Conception Bay; they had eight children. He died on 4 January 1932.

Keneally entered the Labrador fishery at age thirteen. He owned planter premises in Battle Harbour and Assizes. Local records for the Carbonear area described him as a schooner captain, Labrador trader and planter. A member of St. Patrick's parish, Keneally was a founding member of the Carbonear St. Vincent de Paul Society, a Catholic philanthropic organization in 1874, and served as assistant treasurer.

The Keneally family residence, Keneally Manor, was a double residence on 8 Patrick Street (built 1839-1849), Carbonear and is now a registered Heritage structure.

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