Prof Donald Gebbi
PROFESSOR Donald Gebbie, an Ayrshire man and Glasgow graduate, who practised and taught obstetrics and gynaecology in three continents, died at his home in Crewkerne, Somerset, on October 6, aged 67.
Donald qualified MB ChB in 1955 and in 1957 married his wife Christine, who was a wonderful support to him till the day of his death. After National Service he decided to follow a career in obstetrics and gynaecology and became a house surgeon in Professor Ian Donald's unit at the Glasgow Royal Maternity Hospital, where his fellow resident was another Ayrshire boy, Sandy (now Sir) Alexander Macara, later eminent as President of the BMA. Both these young men had in full measure that excellent Scots quality called the ''gift of the gab'' and from an early stage Donald showed his gift for teaching. This sometimes extended to seniors as well as juniors so that the professor (who had some of the qualities of Sir Lancelot Spratt) declaimed: ''I know I may be wrong, but I don't like Gebbie telling me so!''
After qualifying MRCOG in 1962, Donald became senior registrar at University College, Ibadan, Nigeria, and thereafter his professional life was spent furth of Scotland. In 1964 he moved to Makerere, Uganda, and in 1967 to Nairobi. At that time Glasgow University was involved in the creation of a new faculty of medicine in the new University of East Africa in Nairobi and the head of the team in obstetrics and gynaecology was John MacVicar, Donald's former senior colleague in Glasgow. Donald succeeded him as head of department and in 1969 was appointed Foundation Professor in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Nairobi.
He obtained his MD (Glasgow) in 1969 and on January 1, 1976, was appointed OBE ''for medical services to Kenya and Anglo-Kenyan relationships''.
Meantime, he had done a spell of work in Durban and in 1976 moved to Papua New Guinea. He was made a Foundation Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 1979 and ran the obstetric services in the Solomon Islands from 1980-83. Thereafter, his professional life was spent at the National University of Malaysia where he was appointed visiting professor funded by the Commonwealth secretariat to set up and run the post-graduate training programme. We can both testify to the affection and respect which he received from colleagues and students there.
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