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Alan Joseph Alldred's story

Alan was educated at the Dunedin Normal School where he was dux (top academic student in a graduating class of a school) and then at Otago Boys' High School (where he demonstrated athletic skill , playing hockey for the first XI after which he went to the Medical School at the University of Otago, again playing hockey for New Zealand universities. He graduated as MBChB in 1942 and was appointed house surgeon at Dunedin Hospital. Moving on to Auckland as an orthopaedic registrar, WW2 intervened and he served in the army as a medical officer, returning to Dunedin in 1946 with the rank of Captain.

In 1948 he went to England as medical officer on the SS Coptic and worked first at the Great Ormond Street Childrens' Hospital in London where he qualified as a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. He then took a registrar post at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Oswestry., returning to Dunedin in 1952 as a lecturer in orthopaedic surgery and assistant in orthopaedic surgery to the Otago Hospital Board.

He became Director of orthopaedic services at Dunedin Hospital in 1964, and established a busy private practice which meant that in addition to his hospital and teaching work he undertook monthly clinics at outlying centres. He established a reputation for being an experienced clinician and surgeon as well as that of a gifted teacher.

In 1969 he was awarded a Wolfson travelling fellowship which enabled him to study surgery for rheumatiod arthritis etc in many foreign clinics. 1970 saw him gaining international recognition, being elected an honorary fellow of the British Orthopaedic Association. In 1972 he was appointed to the foundation chair of orthopaedic surgery at the Otago School of medicine, and served as the first President of the Otago Medico-Legal Society. His professorial successor, Keith Jeffrey, paid tribute to his "crucial role in the transition to modern orthopaedic services in New Zealand. His vision and foresight proved invaluable, not least when he helped to establish a new and comprehensive national training system for orthopaedic surgeons. He was also an early advocate for computer use in medical administration and the swift recovery of injured patients by air." In 1982 he was made a Commander of the British Empire in recognition of his services to orthopaedics and in the year 2000 the Alan Alldred Travelling Fellowship was established in his honour.

After his formal retirement he completed a stint as head of Kew Hospital in Invercargill. In 1986 and 1987 he worked in the Cook Islands, reorganising health services after which he went to Nelson where he retired with his wife Pat. He was an outgoing and sociable man who enjoyed sport and particularly the outdoors in central Otago; he regularly went on hunting and fishing trips to Lake Manapouri with some of his friends and was officially designated cook! He had a particular passion for building walls and roackeries and had a barbeque area at his house which was famed for the utensil holders - disused artificial hip prostheses! Alan and Pat had two boys and a girl - one of the boys became a general practitioner in Nelson. He loved looking after his plants, and died suddenly on 13 Dec 2001 whilst tending them.

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