Gordon was born in 1926 in Irvinestown, Northern Ireland – the fourth son of a wholesale grocer. At 13 years of age Gordon won a scholarship to the Methodist College Belfast. Here Gordon and his friend Gerry Murphy stopped the poor treatment of new boys at the school.
At this time Belfast was constantly bombed, especially at the Harland and Wolfe ship building yards – Gordon and his friends often spotted German planes flying overhead. Gordon was in the air cadets and his older brothers were in the RAF, with his brother Gilmore becoming a navigator.
Gordon finished school and decided to study medicine. His early days in General Practice in Ireland included the home deliveries of babies. He then studied anaesthetics in Northern England, where he also married his wife, Beth and moved on to Inverness in Scotland where he worked for several more years.
A surgeon from New South Wales persuaded Gordon to pursue the many opportunities available in Australia, so he moved to the Wollongong area where he practiced anaesthetics at Wollongong, Bulli and Port Kembla Hospitals.
In 1968, Gordon joined a civil aid team formed by the Hospital Commission of NSW and headed to the war zone in Vietnam with the team. Gordon recalls this as an amazing experience for them all, working in primitive conditions under constant threat many. In the spirit of their mission, they treated everyone and experienced many hair raising trips out into the country to visit orphanages without protection.
They often had to scrounge equipment from the Americans, who Gordon always described as very generous and helpful. The patients generally brought the whole family with them and were then often seen with a drip on a bamboo pole and the patient being doubled on a bicycle leaving the hospital. At this point, there were times when Gordon and his team could be running three operating theatres at once. Gordon was training the Vietnamese nurses in anaesthetics under his supervision, going from one theatre to another.
On his return to Wollongong he found his practice was gone, however a Scottish friend in Merimbula needed someone to run a practice in Eden on the Far South Coast. Gordon met his wife, Beth in Eden, as she had just returned from several years working in Canada. They married and moved to Bega where there was a large hospital and he started doing anaesthetics again and gradually setting up an intensive care ward. Their two sons, Nick and Damien were born there.
Later, Gordon and his wife ran a small farm and Gordon was president of the NSW Deer Breeders Association and the President of the Country Doctors Association, a branch of the AMA.
When they eventually moved to Sydney he had business interests which brought him closer to his family and a different lifestyle. He is now a resident at Twilight and lives with many memories of an eventful life.
This article was written by his loving wife, Beth.