Maurice Clarke was my school-fellow at Xavier College in Melbourne and it was there that I became aware of his outstanding intellect and personal integrity. He had been born in Southampton, England but came to Australia in early childhood. He was just a year ahead of me at school and university where we were both residents of Newman College. After graduation we became resident medical officers of St Vincent's Hospital and after years of war service, his as a medical officer in the Royal Australian Airforce and I in the Australian Infantry Forces, we received appointments to the honorary medical staff of St Vincent's Hospital. Our close association and collaboration continued in the exercise of our respective roles within St Vincent's Hospital, including the teaching of undergraduate medical students, and also in the affairs of The Royal Australasian College of Physicians where we had the privilege of being members of council together for many years. Our friendship was based therefore on intimate knowledge and, for my part, a deep respect and affection which increased with each passing year.
Maurice was completely dedicated to the highest ethical ideals of his profession which he served so well by accepting so many appointments, which consumed many hours of hard work away from his medical practice and his family, which he endured generously and no doubt with a sense of responsibility regarding the service to humanity for which he was so fitted by his remarkable talents. It is appropriate that in the biographical detail of his interests which he provided for the College, he included not only art, music and literature which were life-long pursuits, but also 'people'. It was this interest in people which made him such a great physician, a man of wisdom, that virtue which is so accurately described as a blend of knowledge and love. Most of all, this deep affection and concern were lavished upon his wife Valerie, and their two daughters, Gillian and Felicity.
So Maurice became and outstanding cardiologist, senior physician at St Vincent's Hospital, censor-in-chief of the College from 1974 to 1980, vice-president of the National Heart Foundation of Australia, a member of the federal council of the Australian Medical Association and chairman of its federal assembly from 1972 to 1977, and consultant physician to the Royal Australian Airforce with the rank of group captain. He was a member of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee for 10 years and became its chairman, exercising this responsibility to the federal government with great industry.
There is no doubt that throughout his life Maurice was sustained not only by the love of his family and friends, but also by his deep Catholic faith. It is a source of happiness for those who mourn his passing that his work was acknowledged by the award of the College Medal in 1984, by his election to fellowship with the Australian Medical Association and by the fact that in 1974, he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for Services to Medicine. The following words, taken from the citation made by Dr SJM Goulston when Maurice was presented for the College Medal, are a most appropriate tribute:
'His sense of purpose, dedication, his solidarity and high ideals over so many years have been a source of strength to Council. Integrity and humanity have been the hallmark of his personal life and cardiological practice, qualities which exemplify the finest professional standards of patient care.'
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