Obstetrician and gynaecologist
Born: 25 May, 1918, in Edinburgh.
Died: 5 August, 2009 in Ontario, Canada, aged 91.
PADDY Bruce-Lockhart pursued a career as an obstetrician-gynaecologist, first in Edinburgh, then, during the Second World War, in India, before, in 1953, leaving the UK to practise in Canada. There he became a recognised authority in his field and served in several senior and honorary posts including speaker of the Medical Council of Canada.
In his career in Canada he delivered more than 10,000 children, sometimes three generations of a single family.
Bruce-Lockhart's skills saved many lives and such was his reputation the most difficult cases were often referred to him. His gentle, quiet manner, combined with decisiveness and determination in a crisis, inspired confidence and affection in mothers, fathers and staff.
Paddy Bruce-Lockhart was the third son of John Harold Bruce-Lockhart, a former headteacher of Sedbergh. He came from a well-known Edinburgh family who had distinguished themselves both academically and athletically: his father and two of his brothers played rugby for Scotland.
As a child Bruce-Lockhart suffered from a tubercular knee joint, which twice required him to be confined to bed in plaster from chest to toes for the best part of a year. He overcame these incarcerations and distinguished himself as a pupil at the Edinburgh Academy.
He attended the school from 1932-36, winning the Ernest Balfour Prize for music and his colours for fencing.
Bruce-Lockhart then read medicine at Edinburgh University, qualifying in 1940. During these years he represented Scotland at fencing, having taught himself to fence with his left hand. After a period at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary he was posted to the Royal Army Medical Corps and served in Poona, where he was in charge of the hospital. On returning to the UK Bruce-Lockhart practised in Bath. but in 1953 he and his wife emigrated to Sudbury in Canada. For the next 40 years Bruce-Lockhart was an integral part of the medical and social life of Ontario.
He widened accessibility for healthcare throughout the area and was always available to advise on difficult deliveries and pregnancies.
He was a principal pioneer in improving the educational facilities in the various medical schools throughout Canada and served with distinction on many medical committees.
Possessed of a particularly agile mind, he was always keen to embrace new methods and particularly welcomed into his hospitals the advances in technology that made childbirth easier and less painful.
Apart from acting as speaker of council for the Canadian Medical Association, Bruce-Lockhart was president of the Ontario Medical Association, chief of obstetrics at the General Hospital and was made emeritus professor by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. The last post was a particular and personal honour as it is seldom awarded to someone who has spent most of his medical career abroad.
Bruce-Lockhart never lost his love of sport – he remained a passionate tennis player and golfer nearly all his life – and music. His memories of learning the piano and violin at the Edinburgh Academy remained with him and he much enjoyed playing chamber music with his children and grandchildren. He also took much pleasure in being an active honorary member of the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra.
He is remembered by his patients as an excellent and generous-hearted physician.
He was blessed with a gentle and courteous, but decisive bedside manner that inspired confidence. His staff much respected his medical abilities and his calmness under severe pressure.
The announcement of his death summed up this much- admired man. It simply stated: "A life well lived, eternal optimist, gentleman and adoring family man who leaves us at the tender age of 91."
Paddy Bruce-Lockhart first married Mary Campbell Seddall, with whom he had three children. She died in 1961 from a brain tumour and he married Eve Didychuk. She, their three children and the children from his first marriage all survive him.