Douglas M. Gibson

Douglas M. Gibson

OBITUARIES DOUGLAS 225 M. GIBSON Douglas Gibson died in Toronto, Canada, on 8 March, after a week's illness. He would have been 89 in two weeks' t...

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Douglas Gibson died in Toronto, Canada, on 8 March, after a week's illness. He would have been 89 in two weeks' time. Douglas Gibson was a most remarkable personality, many-sided in interest and experience, passionate in his convictions, but with a lively sense of humour to temper his indignations. He was educated at Cheltenham College, and studied medicine at St. Thomas' from 1906 to 1912, during which time he was a member of the St. Thomas' Cricket Eleven who won the Interhospital Cup for six years in succession. H e had as a schoolboy played against the redoubtable Dr. W. G. Grace. Qualifying MRCS, L R C P in 1912, he then took the MB, BS London, and fifteen years later, when on leave from China, the Edinburgh FRCS. He was a medical missionary in China from 1914 to 1941, and from 1942 to 1946 served on the staff of a large tuberculosis hospital in Toronto, having been invalided out of China. He became interested in homoeopathy in 1936, through a meeting with Sir J o h n Weir. On returning to England in 1946, he took up the study seriously at the Royal London Homceopathie Hospital, becoming a Member of the Faculty, later being elected to Fellowship, and a member of the hospital outpatient staff. He served on the Council of the Faculty, and after retirement from the hospital continued an active private practice. In 1972, he and his wife moved to Toronto, to live with their son Dr. Donald Gibson and his family. He had married in 1917 J a n e t Nelson, also a Missionary with the China Inland Mission. Of his time in China, he contributed two charming and fascinating articles to the British Homceapathic Journal, "Recollections" (63, 19--J a n u a r y 1974) and "Travel notes" (64, ll3---April 1975). These give a vivid account of medical and surgical conditions, and of travelling under war conditions and escape to San Francisco at the time of Pearl Harbour. Douglas Gibson and his family travelled a number of times from China to England and back on the Trans-Siberian Railway during the Stalin regime, and his description of these journeys were full of colour and interest. He also would wax eloquent over the joy he experienced in relieving little Chinese boys of their acute misery by removing ~heir bladder stones, apparently exceedingly common in those days. Another of his surgical daily deeds was operating on TB b o n e s - not a bone in the body, he would say, that he had not operated on. H e was a prolific writer and contributed a most valuable series on materia medica to the British Homa~opathic Journal, and another series, more adjusted to a lay journal, in Homeopathy. He also contributed editorial articles to Homoeopathy over m a n y years. The matoria mediea articles in ~he British Homoeopathic Journal ran from 1958 to the present time. I n these contributions he collected from a wide range of standard materia medieas the basic facts. H e eliminated repetitions and made available to students the chaotic matter of established works in a unified mode and form. A very great deal of study over 30 years went into the writing of these essays, and all student~ of materia mediea owe a considerable debt to Douglas Gibson. He has saved them enormous labour and time-consumlng, often tedious, study. To those of us who were privileged to work with him and know him as a friend, his memory will remain an inspiration and example, showing us what a dedicated individual can achieve. B u t side by side with this picture of Douglas Gibson I remember him as an enthusiastic lover of music, an omnivorous reader with a particular attachment to forensic medical mysteries and problems, a






passionate follower of cricket, and more surprisingly perhaps of the tribal rites of Twickenham Rugby, in which he uninhibitedly partook. Watching him sit impassive as a Chinese Mandarin at a committee meeting, it was difficult to imagine him shouting and stamping his feet at these other occasions. Douglas Gibson lived a long and rich life, full of unusually varied experience. He had the gift of entering into all t h a t life brought him with enthusiasm and without stint. To his family, his daughter and son and grandchildren, we offer our s y m p a t h y and the expression of our love and admiration for a friend and colleague who was a fighter throughout his life for everything which contributes to the dignity and nobility of mankind. LLEWSLY~r RALPH TWENTYMAN

From the San Francisco County Homeopathic Medical Society, Hahnemann Hospital, San Francisco, California. ~O00KI~'' Dr. Franklin H. Cookinham, M.D., D.H.T., died at 5 a.m. on 9 May 1977 at Marshal Hale Memorial Hospital in San Francisco of a sudden intestinal obstruction. He was in his 96th year. "Cookie" was born in Kansas and reared in a God-fearing home, where his beloved mother endowed him with a natural serenity and longevity. His father was a homceopathie country doctor who early in life planted the love for medicine in his boy's mind when he accompanied his father on house calls during the horse and buggy time. He obtained his medical and homceopathie training in Denver, Chicago, and Boston, where he sat with his contemporaries, Doctors Smith and Grimmer, in K e n t ' s lectures. Following his graduation, he was a ship's surgeon and voyaged the seven seas for ten years. I n 1915 he again touched soil in San Francisco, which he first saw during the great earthquake. H e was charmed by the city and made it his home until his death. He opened his offices for the practice of homoeopathy and surgery the same day as the World's Fair opened in San Francisco, two memorable events in his life. He was associated with the finest homoeopathie physicians in town, such as Doctors J a m e s W. Ward and Howard M. Engle. Dr. Cookinham was well-liked by his patients for his professional skill, his dedication, and his bedside manner. H e was held in great esteem b y his peers for his sagacity, fairness, and priceless wit. Dr. Cookinham t e r m i n a t e d - prematurely, as he said his long career in medicine in 1975 because of the high cost of malpractice insurance. Retirement saw him continuing his keen interest in contemporary and ancient history, philosophy, and appreciation of music. All of us who had the privilege of knowing this gentleman, doctor, and scholar, will remember him as a cheerful person, who loved every day of his life. When asked how he felt, the answer was always, " I never had it so good". When encountering difficulties, the comforting quotation sustained him, "This too shall pass"; "Cookie" was a deep believer and acted accordingly. The writer of these lines had the privilege to witness his life for the past 25 years, ever since the d a y he greeted me on board ship at Staten Island. My fellowship with "Cookie" deepened in the last two years of his life, when he spent much of his time with me, regarding me as his "spiritual son". GOODBYE