Name: Lucy Gertrude MacMahon
MB ChM – University of Sydney (1924)
Date of Birth: 21 May 1901
Date of Death: June 1996
Lucy MacMahon is a somewhat elusive figure in the early Fellowship. Her early and later life is virtually unknown with only occasional references in Sydney and Melbourne newspapers. It is known she graduated from the University of Sydney with her medical degree in 1924. She travelled to England and remained there during the World War II period. On return to Australia, MacMahon worked closely with her two brothers who were surgeons and may have entered into the Private Practice of Harry Daly. She accepted nomination to the Fellowship in 1951 and this was made official in 1952.
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Lucy Gertrude MacMahon was born on May 21, 1901 in the rural town of Cootamundra in New South Wales.[i] Little information is known about MacMahon regarding her early and later life. Bits and pieces have been fashioned together from newspaper sources that reveal certain elements.
It is known in 1924 MacMahon graduated from the University of Sydney with her MB (Bachelor of Medicine) ChM (Masters in Surgery).[ii] In the 1923 MB graduation information booklet, it states that MacMahon entered the University in March, 1919. It also reveals that MacMahon undertook her residency at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney.[iii]
According to newspaper articles, MacMahon was working with the Canterbury District Memorial Hospital from approximately her time of graduation until 1932.[iv] She then moved to Lewisham Hospital in Sydney where she stayed until 1938.[v] Her final appointment in Australia before voyaging overseas to the United Kingdom was as honorary anaesthetist in St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney.[vi]
In February, 1938, MacMahon sailed on the Orion to England. By all accounts, she stayed in England during the war years returning to Australia post-1945.
She settled back in Sydney in 1945 working at St Vincent’s Hospital and with her brothers, Eddie and Joe MacMahon who were both surgeons.[viii] This included spending some time working at the Lewisham Hospital.
On her exordium form for Fellowship into the Faculty of Anaesthetists Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, MacMahon has her address down as 143 Macquarie Street, Sydney.[ix] This is the same address as Harry Daly. Perhaps she had entered into private practice with Harry Daly some time during the post-World War II era.
The only award she is known to have received was the Fellowship to the Faculty of Anaesthetists, Royal Australasian College of Anaesthetists in 1952. She accepted this nomination in 1951, writing to the Faculty to pay for her entrance and to thank the interim Board for their nomination.[x]
Outside of anaesthetic practice, it is clear that MacMahon had a thriving social life attending balls, weddings and parties throughout the 1920s and 1930s. Many of these events were attended by MacMahon with her siblings, two brothers and four sisters. Her sister, Dora, was also a doctor and two of her remaining four sisters were married to doctors. Both of her brothers were surgeons. The family environment MacMahon both grew up in and engaged with was, therefore, very medically-orientated. Many of the parties were also to raise funds for hospitals and social clubs such as the Cronulla Surf Club.[xi]
MacMahon retired from practice prior to receiving her Fellowship. She married a Sydney barrister, Louis Hogan and moved to Bathurst in New South Wales. MacMahon died in 1996 in Sydney.[xii]
[i] New South Wales Government, ‘Births Search Results: MacMahon L G’, Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages, 2015, Online: www.familyhistory.bdm.nsw.gov.au/lifelink/familyhistory/search/result?3[ii] University of Sydney, ‘Senior Year Book 1923’, University of Sydney, 1923, p. 76.[iii] Ibid.[iv] ‘Personal’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 27 December 1930, p. 8.[v] ‘All About People: Tittle Tattle’, The Catholic Press, 13 July 1933, p. 18.[vi] R. G. Walsh, ‘Obituary’, ANZCA Council, October 1996, ANZCA Archives, Series 11.[vii] ‘Social and Personal’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 February 1938, p. 4.[viii] R. G. Walsh, ‘Obituary’.[ix] Lucy Gertrude MacMahon, ‘Exordium’, Application Form, 1952, Geoffrey Kaye Museum of Anaesthetic History: VKGM 6903.5.[x] Lucy MacMahon, ‘Letter to the Secretary Faculty of Anaesthetists’, 22 August 1951.[xi] ‘Cronulla Surf Club Dance’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 20 May 1935, p. 4.[xii] R. G. Walsh, ‘Obituary’.
- Lucy Gertrude MacMahon, ‘Exordium’, Application Form, 1952, Geoffrey Kaye Museum of Anaesthetic History: VKGM 6903.5.