The Newcastle Sun
DR. JOHN HARRIS LEADING MEDICO Death After long illness Dr. John Harris, father of the medical profession in Newcastle, died at his home in Newcastle last night. For some months he was unable to follow his profession and was practically an invalid. But to the end he maintained that wonderful optimism which characterised his long life. Dr. Harris arrived in Australia with his parents when only two years old, having been born in Wexford, Ireland. He came from a family of students, his father having been a man of great learning. Dr. John often told the younger generation how, when a lad ploughing the soil, he was being instructed in Latin and similar subjects. It was his father s brother, the late Dr. Richard Harris, who pro- posed to train Dr. John Harris as a medical man, and his judgment of this man in choosing this profession for his nephew was often comment- ed upon in the early days of Dr. John s career. His early education was received at the school of Mr Theobold, and later wan sent to Aberdeen (Scotland). After a brilliant career as a student he graduated in 1874, M.B. Ch.M., L.R.C.P., and later at Edinburgh, he took his L.R.C.S. As a medical man he was recognised all over the States as having skill above the ordinary. His advice was often sought when other doc- tors had failed. As a man he was beloved by all who came in contact with him. His genial personality, and his love of humour, combined with a keen sense of right, made him one of the most respected men of his time. It has often been remark- ed that his one fault was in a too kindly heart. His thought for his fellow creatures made him a slave to his profession. FAMILY OF DOCTORS He was rightly called the father of the profession, for the medical men of Newcastle, young and old, looked to him for advice on all matters. He reared a family of doctors. His eldest daughter, Dr. May Harris, was the first girl of Newcastle to enter the profession, and her career has been brilliant. When little more than a girl she entered practice with her father, and has been his right-hand helper ever since. His five sons enter- ed the profession, and this family of doctors may be considered a world s record. Dr. Harris took an interest in all things relating to the advancement of the city. For many years he was Government medical officer for New- castle. He was also medical officer of the Victoria Lodge No. 2, a position he filled since its establishment in 1877. His passing removes the last of the old school of the medical profession in Newcastle, he having been associated with Dr. Richard Harris, Dr. R. C. Knaggs, Dr. Samuel Knaggs, Dr. Read, and Dr. Nash. He is survived by his widow, four daughters (Dr. May Harris, Misses Katie and Lilla Harris, Mrs. Margrie) and five sons, Doctors Matthew, Jack, Harry, Hubert, and Terence Harris. The last-mentioned is at present in Europe. The funeral will leave St. Mary s Church to-morrow afternoon.