Roger Angove was a member of the well-known South Australian winemaking family. His early childhood was quite disrupted. His father, Edward Laurence Angove, was sadly killed in action in France in August 1918 when Roger was only three years old. The grief of a young war widow (née Dorothy Clare) needs no emphasis, being left to care for two baby sons under four years of age. It was fortunate that help was available from the grandparents on Mrs. Angove’s side of the family – Captain and Mrs. Clare. Captain Clare was a retired naval commandant and he and his wife came from Cottesloe in Western Australia to give support. At the age of nine years, young Roger started his schooling at St Peter’s College, Adelaide, where his mother was a teacher to the youngest scholars, a profession which she continued in a variety of ways until she was a considerable age. There is no doubt that this remarkable woman had a very significant effect on her son’s character!
In 1933, Roger Angove entered the medical school at the University of Adelaide and graduated in 1938. Immediately on finishing his internship at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) he enlisted as a medical officer in the RAAF at the beginning of World War II and was posted to Darwin for training on active service. In 1941 his squadron group of RAAF Empire Air Trainees was stationed finally in Yorkshire after further extensive training in Canada. During 1942 and 1943 he was on active service in the Middle East and Western Desert, with a relatively short spell in Sicily in early 1944, until he was repatriated through the UK and the USA to Australia where Squadron leader Angove finished his military career at the RAAF section of Concord Hospital. Following discharge he was appointed as a medical registrar to the RAH for the last six months of 1945 and passed the MRACP examination in early 1946. There followed an appointment in the last six months of 1946 as a resident physician at the Broken Hill Hospital.
Like almost all of those wishing further postgraduate training overseas until the late 1950s, Roger Angove sailed to England where he passed the MRCP examination in 1947 after six months of a postgraduate course at the London Hospital thus confirming, quite unnecessarily, his status as a physician. However, this was the start of an era when the enormous escalation of knowledge in all branches of medicine had caused many physicians to seek extra expertise in a specialised area as well as being competent as a general physician. Dr Angove chose thoracic medicine and spent 1948 and 1949 in senior residency appointments at the Brompton Hospital, London. His expertise in thoracic medicine resulted in three months of enquiry in Scandinavia, on behalf of the British Council, reporting in depth on BCG vaccination.
Late in 1949, Roger Angove returned to Adelaide where he started in private practice and was appointed as an Honorary Clinical Assistant Physician at the RAH. In 1950 he was also appointed as a part-time assistant to the Director of Medical Studies at the RAH and he married Margaret Eleanor Formby, an RAH nursing sister. It was during 1950 and 1951 that I was appointed as a medical registrar with a special responsibility to the Director of Medical Studies through the University of Adelaide. Thus, there commenced a close friendship with Roger Angove until his death. It is pertinent, therefore, to write of him as a person at this stage and return to his professional life and many contributions to medicine and the community later.
Roger Angove loved life to the full and he had wide interests outside of his main one – looking after sick persons. He was a keen fisherman and our two families spent holidays together for many years at Robe in South Australia’s southeastern region. This did not prevent him from spending time in other regions of the continent that he loved. His friendly and caring manner, combined with an extroverted and enquiring mind, ensured a wide range of friends and he was inclined to dabble in non-vindictive gossip. He enjoyed good food and wine, and was not averse to ‘bagging’ the occasional wild duck in season, as well as destructive rabbits on any possible occasion. He was an avid reader with a particular interest in heritage and history which former he supported energetically.
One of his particular interests was in ornithology combined with a dedication to conservation of the environment. His presence was commanding in speech but combined with great compassion and caring, and he was loved by both his children and those of other persons. The onset of escalating chronic lung disease in later life caused increasing disability culminating in his death. Outside of his professional responsibilities he had held a number of commitments. He was the president of: Bedford Industries; The South Australian Tuberculosis Association; Burnside Historical Association; The Adelaide Ornithologists Club, and he was a Life Member of The National Trust of South Australia and The Royal Zoological Society of South Australia. The list is far from complete.
As a clinician and teacher, Dr Angove was a compassionate and caring doctor who kept abreast of the advances in medical knowledge in his chosen specialties of thoracic and in general medicine. He had a special interest in medical education of a clinical nature. Despite his position of Assistant and, then, Senior Visiting Physician to the RAH, his energy ensured the formation of the Department of Thoracic Medicine at that hospital. On his retirement from the RAH in 1980 he continued in private practice until 1985. His professional responsibilities included: President of the Laennec Society; Chairman of the Medical Section of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Central Branch); President of the Thoracic Society of Australia; Honorary Secretary of the AMA (South Australian Branch). He was a member of the South Australian State Committee of the RACP from 1968 to 1974 and he served for many years as the South Australian Representative on the Library Committee. Again, this is not a full list. He is survived by his wife, Margaret, two sons and two daughters, and an extended family.
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