Royal Reels: Gambling


The postcard has a red 2½d KGVI stamp cancelled with a roller boxed postmark of MELBOURNE/ 11-PM/ 31 AUG/ 1942/ VICTORIA. It is addressed to Dr. Walter F. Duggan, 258 Genesee Street, Utica N,Y., U.S.A., and it has a purple handstamp of a boxed ‘3/ PASSED/ BY/ CENSOR’ (Figure 1).

The reverse has a printed ROYAL AUSTRALASIAN COLLEGE OF SURGEONS/ GORDON CRAIG LIBRARY/ Spring Street, Melbourne, C.1., dated August 25 1942 sent by the Secretary H.G. Wheeler, acknowledging the receipt of a reprint of a paper, with the impressive title name ‘Choroidosis Centralis Serosa’ (Figure 2).

Robert Gordon Craig graduated from Medicine in 1894 at the University of Sydney and became a Resident Medical Officer at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. In 1895, he entered into private practice, establishing himself as a Consultant in Newtown, Sydney. He remained active as a consultant until 1908, but in 1901 was also appointed to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital as an Honorary Assistant Surgeon. He established the first urological unit at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children in 1918, and established the Department of Urology at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in 1925. Through his benefactions to the University of Sydney he provided the first professional specialist training of urologists, in Australasia.

In 1908, Gordon travelled to England and the United States, including a visit to the Mayo Clinic. He was most impressed with the Mayo brothers and returned to their clinic about every five years.  From 1911, he was Honorary Surgeon at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, a position he remained in until 1925, and he took up an appointment as Lecturer in Surgery at the University of Sydney in 1914. With the outbreak of war in 1915, he served as Lieutenant-Colonel in the Australian Imperial Force, being active as a Ship’s Surgeon with the No. 1 Hospital Ship Karoola in the Mediterranean and Australian waters.

Gordon was a generous benefactor for in 1926, he donated what was then a huge sum of money £60,000 pounds to the University of Sydney in order to establish a Fellowship in Urology. The recipients were to be trained in urology and conduct research at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. The Gordon Craig Fellowship continues today and many of the Royal College alumni have been recipients of this fellowship.

He was also one of the prime movers in the establishment of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, and when the first Council was elected in 1927, Gordon was elected a Foundation Member. At his death in 1931, he also bequeathed a further sum of £60,000 to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Melbourne which was used for the setting up of the Gordon Craig Library, at the Royal College. A picture of Robert Gordon Craig is seen in Figure 3.

Walter Francis Duggan was born in Monson, Mass. and graduated from Columbia College and the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. He initially contemplated a career in Physiology and took a Master’s degree in that discipline, but decided to become an ophthalmologist. He interned at the Presbyterian Hospital and became a resident at the Herman Knapp Memorial Hospital in New York, where he became an attending eye surgeon. In 1939 he became an extremely successful ophthalmologist in practice in Utica, New York where he remained for the rest of his life. He was appointed to the St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Utica, to the Board of the Central Association of the Blind, and to the Advisory Commission of N.Y. State Commission for the Blind. He died in Utica on February 12, 1974 of cancer of the throat, survived by his second wife Henrietta and a step-son. The paper mentioned on the reverse of the postcard was published in Arch. Ophthal. 1942; 27 (1): 123-138. A picture of Walter Duggan is seen in Figure 4.

Categories: Health Sciences