The Lord Porritt
Arthur Porritt in 1923
|11th Governor-General of New Zealand|
1 December 1967 –7 September 1972
|Preceded by||Sir Bernard Fergusson|
|Succeeded by||Sir Denis Blundell|
|2nd Chairman of the British Empire and Commonwealth Games Federation|
|Preceded by||Sir James Leigh-Wood|
|Succeeded by||Sir Alexander Ross|
|Born||10 August 1900|
Wanganui, New Zealand
|Died||1 January 1994 93) (aged|
|Years of service||1940–1956|
|Battles/wars||Second World War|
|Awards|| Officer of the Order of the British Empire |
Officer of the Legion of Merit (United States)
Colonel Arthur Espie Porritt, Baron Porritt, GCMG , GCVO , CBE , FRCS (10 August 1900 – 1 January 1994) was a New Zealand physician, military surgeon, statesman and athlete. He won a bronze medal at the 1924 Summer Olympics in the 100 m sprint. He served as the 11th Governor-General of New Zealand from 1967 to 1972.
Colonel (Col) is a rank of the British Army and Royal Marines, ranking below brigadier, and above lieutenant colonel. British colonels are not usually field commanders; typically they serve as staff officers between field commands at battalion and brigade level. The insignia is two diamond-shaped pips below a crown. The crown has varied in the past with different monarchs; the current Queen's reign has used St Edward's Crown. The rank is equivalent to captain in the Royal Navy and group captain in the Royal Air Force.
New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. It has a total land area of 268,000 square kilometres (103,500 sq mi). New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.
A physician, medical practitioner, medical doctor, or simply doctor, is a professional who practises medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining, or restoring health through the study, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of disease, injury, and other physical and mental impairments. Physicians may focus their practice on certain disease categories, types of patients, and methods of treatment—known as specialities—or they may assume responsibility for the provision of continuing and comprehensive medical care to individuals, families, and communities—known as general practice. Medical practice properly requires both a detailed knowledge of the academic disciplines, such as anatomy and physiology, underlying diseases and their treatment—the science of medicine—and also a decent competence in its applied practice—the art or craft of medicine.
Porritt was born in Wanganui, New Zealand, the son of Ivy Elizabeth Porritt (née McKenzie) and Ernest Edward Porritt, a doctor. His mother died in 1914 during his first year at the Wanganui Collegiate School, and his father left soon after to serve in World War I. He became a keen athlete.
Whanganui, also spelled Wanganui, is a city on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand. The Whanganui River, New Zealand's longest navigable waterway, runs from Mount Tongariro to the sea. Whanganui is part of the Manawatu-Wanganui region.
In 1920 he began studying towards a medical degree at the University of Otago where he was a resident at Selwyn College and President of the Selwyn College Students' Association. In 1923 Porritt was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, and he studied medicine from 1924 to 1926 at Magdalen College, Oxford.
The University of Otago is a collegiate university based in Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. It scores highly for average research quality, and in 2006 was second in New Zealand only to the University of Auckland in the number of A-rated academic researchers it employs. In the past it has topped the New Zealand Performance Based Research Fund evaluation.
Selwyn College is a residential college affiliated to the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. It was founded by Bishop Samuel Tarratt Nevill as a theological college training clergy for the Anglican Church and as a hall of residence for students attending the university. It is named after George Augustus Selwyn, the first Bishop of New Zealand and is owned by the Anglican Diocese of Dunedin. It was opened on 15 January 1893. It was Otago's first residential college and on the model of an English university college it included students of all subjects. Women were admitted in 1983. The main building is listed as a Category II Historic Place. Selwyn is one of the most popular colleges in Dunedin, its 188 available places oversubscribed every year.
The Rhodes Scholarship is an international postgraduate award for students to study at the University of Oxford. It was established in 1902, making it the first large-scale programme of international scholarship. The Rhodes Scholarship was founded by English businessman and politician Cecil John Rhodes, to promote unity between English-speaking nations and instill a sense of civic-minded leadership and moral fortitude in future leaders irrespective of their chosen career paths. Although initially restricted to male applicants from countries which are today within the British Commonwealth, as well as Germany and the United States, today the scholarship is open to applicants from all backgrounds and from across the globe. Since its creation, controversy has surrounded both its former exclusion of women, and Rhodes' white supremacist beliefs and legacy of colonialism.
|Height||187 cm (6 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||74 kg (163 lb)|
|Achievements and titles|
|Personal best(s)||100 yd – 9.8 (1923)|
200 m – 21.5 (1925)
Porritt represented New Zealand at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, France, where he won a bronze medal in the 100 metre dash; the winner was Harold Abrahams (1899–1978). The race took place at 7 pm on 7 July 1924. Abrahams and Porritt dined together at 7 pm on 7 July every year thereafter, until Abrahams' death. The race was later immortalised in the film Chariots of Fire , but due to Porritt’s modesty his name was changed to "Tom Watson". He also won two qualifying races in the 200 m, but did not advance in the semi-final. Porritt was captain of the New Zealand team at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, but withdrew from the 100 m because of an injury.
The 1924 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the VIII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was celebrated in 1924 in Paris, France.
The men's 100 metres event was part of the track and field athletics programme at the 1924 Summer Olympics. This race was depicted in the film Chariots of Fire. The first two rounds were held on 6 July, with the semifinals and final on 7 July. Eighty-six sprinters from 34 countries competed.
Harold Maurice Abrahams, CBE was an English track and field athlete. He was Olympic champion in 1924 in the 100 metres sprint, a feat depicted in the 1981 movie Chariots of Fire.
Porritt is only one of two people to have the rare honour of twice being the New Zealand flag bearer at Olympic Games, the other being Les Mills.
Leslie Roy Mills is a retired New Zealand track and field athlete and politician. He represented New Zealand at the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games over two decades, competing in the shot put and discus throw. At the 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games he achieved his best result, a gold medal in the discus.
After retirement from athletics, Porritt was New Zealand's team manager at the 1934 British Empire Games in London and 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.Porritt was the New Zealand member of the International Olympic Committee from 1934 to 1967. He was the first President of the IOC Medical Commission and served from 1961 to 1967.
The 1934 British Empire Games were the second of what is now known as the Commonwealth Games, held in England, from 4–11 August 1934. The host city was London, with the main venue at Wembley Park, although the track cycling events were in Manchester. Seventeen national teams took part, including the Irish Free State.
The 1936 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XI Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event held in 1936 in Berlin, Nazi Germany. Berlin won the bid to host the Games over Barcelona, Spain, on 26 April 1931, at the 29th IOC Session in Barcelona. It marked the second and final time the International Olympic Committee gathered to vote in a city that was bidding to host those Games.
The New Zealand Olympic Committee is the body in New Zealand responsible for selecting athletes to represent New Zealand in the Summer and Winter Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games.
Porritt served as chairman of the British Empire and Commonwealth Games Federation from the 1950 Auckland games to the 1966 Kingston games.
Porritt became a house surgeon at St Mary's Hospital, London, in 1926 and later that year was appointed surgeon to the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VIII.
On 8 March 1940, Porritt was commissioned a lieutenant in the Royal Army Medical Corps with the service number 125494.He served in France until the evacuation from Dunkirk, then in Egypt, operating on seriously wounded soldiers from the North African campaign, and later landing in Normandy on D-Day. A war-substantive major by February 1943, he was granted the temporary rank of lieutenant colonel and the acting rank of colonel later that year; on 18 December 1943, he was appointed a consultant surgeon with the local rank of brigadier. He relinquished this position and his brigadier's rank on 1 September 1945, by which time he was a war-substantive lieutenant colonel. He ended his military career in September 1956, with the honorary rank of colonel in the Territorial Army.
Porritt was King's Surgeon to George VI from 1946 to 1952, and was Serjeant Surgeon to Queen Elizabeth II until 1967.
In 1955 Porritt was called to Eastbourne by the suspected serial killer John Bodkin Adams, to operate on his patient Jack Hullett for colon cancer. The operation was a moderate success but the death of Hullett under Adams' supervision a few months later followed soon after by the death of his wife Bobby, led to Adams being put on trial for Bobby's murder in 1957. He was acquitted but is suspected in up to 163 deaths.
Porritt was twice president of the Hunterian Society (once in 1951) and became president in 1960 of both the British Medical Association and the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the first person to hold the two positions simultaneously, and retained the presidency of the RCS until 1963.
In 1966 Porritt was elected president for two years of the Royal Society of Medicine but served only one year before leaving for New Zealand.
Porritt was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1943,and promoted to Commander (CBE) in 1945. He was decorated as an Officer of the US Legion of Merit on 14 November 1947. He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (KCMG) in 1950, and was promoted to Knight Grand Cross (GCMG) in 1967. In 1957 he was appointed a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO), being promoted to Knight Grand Cross (GCVO) in 1970. He was also made a Knight of the Order of St John of Jerusalem (KStJ) in 1957.
Porritt was created a Baronet of Hampstead on 25 January 1963.When he was elevated to be a Life Peer on 5 February 1973, he chose to honour his home town and was created Baron Porritt, of Wanganui in New Zealand and of Hampstead in Greater London.
In 1967 Porritt returned to New Zealand to be appointed by the Queen on the advice of Prime Minister Keith Holyoake as the 11th Governor-General of New Zealand, and the first born in New Zealand.His term marked a turning-point in the country's constitutional history: his successors have all been New Zealanders (although one of his predecessors, Lord Freyberg, moved to New Zealand when he was two).
Prior to the 1969 general election in September of that year, Porritt sparked a heated debate with a Labour candidate Eddie Isbey when he argued in a speech to the Southern Cross Medical Care Society that the welfare state was "uneconomic".
Later, Porritt's wife also created controversy, when she replied to a question on equal pay for women by stating: "Perhaps when New Zealand, like India and Israel, produces a woman prime minister it will be time to call a halt to the emancipation movement".
At his last Waitangi Day speech in 1972, Porritt caused more controversy by stating that: "Maori-Pakeha relationships are being dealt with adequately through the biological process of intermarriage."
At the end of his term in September 1972 Porritt returned to England.
In Christchurch, New Zealand, a park was named Porritt Park in the suburb of Wainoni. The park surrounded by the Avon River became home to Canterbury Hockey, Canterbury Rowing, Canterbury Touch Rugby and also used as a venue for Cricket. Porritt Primary School in Napier opened in 1975, named in honour of his service to New Zealand. He has also a dedication of a running track in Hamilton, New Zealand named Porritt Stadium.
Porritt was initiated in Oxford University's Apollo University Lodge No. 357 on 13 June 1925, and later joined other English Constitution lodges, including Sancta Maria Lodge No. 2682 (a medical practitioners' lodge), Prince of Wales's Lodge No. 259 (a so-called 'red apron' lodge as it nominates one of the 19 Grand Stewards each year, who wear red aprons), and Royal Alpha Lodge No. 16 (membership of which is at the personal invitation of the Grand Master).
During his term as Governor-General (1968–1971), Porritt served as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand.
Lord Porritt died in London at the age of 93 on 1 January 1994.His wife died in 1998. His son is Jonathon Porritt, a well-known environmental activist.
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, is a member of the British royal family. He is a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II through their fathers, Prince George, Duke of Kent, and King George VI. Because his mother, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark was a cousin of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Edward is both a second cousin and first cousin once removed to Prince Charles and his siblings.
Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone, was a British Army commander and major-general who served as the fourth Governor-General of the Union of South Africa and as Governor General of Canada, the 16th since the Canadian Confederation.
Colonel John Jestyn Llewellin, 1st Baron Llewellin was a British army officer, Conservative Party politician and minister in Winston Churchill's war government.
Field Marshal Sir Geoffrey Harding Baker, was Chief of the General Staff, the professional head of the British Army, from 1968 to 1971. He served in the Second World War and became Director of Operations and Chief of Staff for the campaign against EOKA in Cyprus during the Cyprus Emergency and later in his career provided advice to the British Government on the deployment of troops to Northern Ireland at the start of the Troubles.
Field Marshal Richard Michael Power Carver, Baron Carver, was a senior British Army officer. Lord Carver served as the Chief of the General Staff (CGS), the professional head of the British Army, and then as the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), the professional head of the British Armed Forces. He served during the Second World War and organised the administration of British forces deployed in response to the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya and later in his career provided advice to the British government on the response to the early stages of The Troubles in Northern Ireland.
Lieutenant-General Charles Willoughby Moke Norrie, 1st Baron Norrie,, was a senior officer of the British Army who fought in both World Wars, following which he served terms as Governor of South Australia and the eighth Governor-General of New Zealand.
Lieutenant-General Sir Alfred Henry Keogh, was a medical doctor in the British Army. He served as Director-General Army Medical Services twice; from 1905 to 1910 and 1914 to 1918.
Sir Edward Denis Blundell, was a New Zealand lawyer, cricketer, diplomat, and the 12th Governor-General of New Zealand from 1972 to 1977.
The Porritt Baronetcy, of Hampstead in the County of London, is in the Baronetcy of the United Kingdom and was created on 25 January 1963 for Sir Arthur Porritt, former Governor-General of New Zealand, President of the Royal College of Surgeons and Surgeon Sergeant to Queen Elizabeth II. The 1st Baronet was later created a life peer as Baron Porritt, of Wanganui in New Zealand and of Hampstead in Greater London.
Marshal of the Royal Air Force Samuel Charles Elworthy, Baron Elworthy, was a senior officer in the Royal Air Force. He served as commander of a squadron of Blenheim bombers and then as a station commander during the Second World War. He became Chief of the Air Staff in the mid-1960s and implemented the cancellation of the TSR-2 strike aircraft and the HS681 military transport aircraft programmes. He also became Chief of the Defence Staff in which role he oversaw the evacuation from Aden in November 1967 and had to respond to the growing crisis in Northern Ireland in the late 1960s.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter David George Terry, was a senior Royal Air Force commander who held a number of high-level British and NATO posts. Terry was Governor of Gibraltar from 1985 to 1989.
General Sir William Godfrey Fothergill Jackson, was a British Army officer, military historian, author and Governor of Gibraltar.
General Sir Charles Frederic Keightley, was a British Army officer during and following the Second World War. After serving with distinction during the Second World War – becoming the army's youngest corps commander – he had a distinguished postwar career and was the Governor of Gibraltar from 1958 to 1962.
Major General Sir Rohan Delacombe, was a senior British Army officer. He was the last British Governor of Victoria, Australia from 1963 to 1974.
Major General Sir Richard Henry Havelock Charles, 1st Baronet, was a noted doctor, and Serjeant Surgeon to King George V.
Denis Arthur Greenhill, Baron Greenhill of Harrow (1913–2000) was the British Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Head of the Diplomatic Service from 1969 to 1973; a respected expert on the US, Europe and the Soviet Union, he was actively involved in setting postwar Britain's role in the world in a new direction, away from its imperial past and a compliant involvement with the United States towards a more active engagement in Europe. He served under three prime ministers, Harold Wilson, Sir Alec Douglas-Home and Edward Heath.
General Sir Geoffrey Richard Desmond Fitzpatrick, was a senior British Army officer who served as commander of the British Army of the Rhine and Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe. After his retirement from the army he was appointed Lieutenant Governor of Jersey and later held a ceremonial position in the Royal Household.
Sir Randal Forbes Elliott,, was a New Zealand eye surgeon and a campaigner for safety glass.
Brigadier Arthur Valerian Wellesley, 8th Duke of Wellington,, styled Marquess of Douro between 1943 and 1972, was a senior British peer and a brigadier in the British Army. His main residence was Stratfield Saye House in Hampshire.
Colonel Alfred Edward Webb-Johnson, 1st Baron Webb-Johnson, known as Sir Alfred Webb-Johnson, Bt, between 1945 and 1948, was a British surgeon.
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Sir Bernard Fergusson
| Governor-General of New Zealand |
Sir Denis Blundell
|Professional and academic associations|
|Preceded by|| President of the British Medical Association |
Sir George Douglas Robb
Sir James Ross
| President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England |
Sir Russell Brock
Lord Cohen of Birkenhead
| President of the Royal Society of Medicine |
Sir Hector MacLennan
|Baronetage of the United Kingdom|
|New creation|| Baronet |
Sir Jonathon Espie Porritt, 2nd Bt