Sir Edward Dunlop - Biography | Part Three of Three

In 1946, three weeks after he returned to Melbourne, Sir Edward married his sweetheart Helen Ferguson at the Toorak Presbyterian Church. They had been engaged since 1940. Their first child, Alexander Boyd, was born on the 5th August 1947 and their second son, John, was born in June 1949.

In the post-war years, Sir Edward continued his distinguished medical career. In 1969 he was knighted in recognition of his contribution to medicine. In 1976 Sir Edward Dunlop was honoured as Australian of the Year. He was very active in the ex-service community and was awarded an honorary life membership of the Returned and Services League in 1979.

He became an ambassador for Australia, building bridges of friendship wherever he travelled in Asia. As his sons grew older they had the opportunity to accompany their father during his many tours. Dr. Alexander Dunlop remembers that his father was very charismatic to his colleagues in Europe, Canada, and America. In Asia,  particularly in Thailand, he was revered. He often travelled to Vietnam, Japan and Moscow, easily and graciously surmounting all cultural barriers.

On the 2nd of July 1993, Sir Edward Dunlop passed away. A state funeral was held at St. Patrick's Cathedral. An estimated ten thousand people lined the streets of Melbourne for his funeral. A wonderful eulogy was delivered by former High Court Justice and Governor General Sir Ninian Stephen.

Sir Edward Weary Dunlop was most passionate about the medical care and health care of veterans. He was the driving force behind the establishment of the Sir Edward Dunlop Medical Research Foundation, participating in the initial meeting of the working party during 1985. He was instrumental in selecting the members and chairman of the working party and became the inaugural Patron when the Foundation was established as a Public Company. He worked in close co-operation with Sir Bernard Callinan, the first Chairman of the Foundation, and became the most active of the Foundation's fundraisers and supporters.

The life of Sir Edward Dunlop is commemorated by the foundation annually on the 12th of July, Sir Edward's birthday. The commemoration takes place at the site of his statue, in the Domain, St Kilda Road near the Shrine of Remembrance. It is attended by politicians, defence force personnel, dignitaries and Sir Edward's beloved POWs and their families.

Among his many qualities, Sir Edward Dunlop possessed a special gift of forgiveness. After the war he said he had lost all hatred when he saw a Japanese POW trampled by a crowd of his colleagues. The man died in his arms as Sir Edward tried to comfort him. Sir Edward said 'the memory dwelt with me as a lingering nightmare… I was deeply conscious of the Buddhist belief that all men are equal in the face of suffering and death'.


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Edward Dunlop and Helen Ferguson on their wedding day at the Toorak Presbyterian Church, November 1945.

Edward Dunlop and Helen Ferguson on their wedding day at the Toorak Presbyterian Church, November 1945.

 

 

 

 

Sir Edward Weary Dunlop receiving his knighthood.

Sir Edward Weary Dunlop receiving his knighthood.

 

 

 

 

The Indian President Radikrisnan and Mrs Gandhi thank Sir Edward Dunlop for his services to Indian Medicine, Indian Day 1968.

The Indian President Radikrisnan and Mrs Gandhi thank Sir Edward Dunlop for his services to Indian Medicine, Indian Day 1968.

 

 

 

With Yi Hak-Nae in Canberra, 1991.

With Yi Hak-Nae in Canberra, 1991.

 

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