Development & Alumni Relations Office 

 

Dr Mary Crawford Hall (née Armstrong), MB BCh BAO 1955, DCH (died 18 December 2016, aged 85)        

Obituary kindly provided by R Brian Lowry, Canada

Born in Belfast on 27 January 1931, Mary was the only daughter of two doctors – Edward and Olive Armstrong. She was educated at Ashleigh House School for girls (now Hunterhouse College) and represented Ulster Schoolgirls at hockey.

 

Mary followed the path of her parents into medicine at Queen’s where she graduated in 1955. She interned at the Royal Victoria Hospital (1955-56) followed by a year of paediatric residency at the Montreal Children’s Hospital and some short term paediatric work in Saskatchewan.

 

Returning to Northern Ireland, she married fellow classmate Henry Hall who predeceased her in 1991.They immigrated to Canada in January 1959 and initially settled in Ormstown, Quebec but a year later moved to Brampton, Ontario where Henry joined an established general practice.

 

Together Mary and Henry raised four children – Alison, Ian, Alan and Andrea. Mary also went into general practice. British medical graduates were fortunate in being able to practice medicine without further training although they had to take a qualifying examination. Like doing “finals” again.

 

Not only did Mary run a general practice but in the later part of her professional life she worked for the Public Health Unit of her Health Region (Peel, Ontario), served on committees for the Peel Memorial Hospital in Brampton and was instrumental in setting up a number of programmes including a Palliative Care one for which she received a Community Award.

 

Henry and Mary had a lakeside cottage close to Brampton where they enjoyed swimming, canoeing and sailing and it became a favourite retreat for Mary after she was widowed. She was active in a Travel Club and in Scottish dancing.

 

What of Mary herself – not only was she an excellent doctor but she was a lovely person, always cheerful, kind and had a great sense of humour. I witnessed the latter after I did a sharp tack in her boat and tipped her into the water. She just laughed and swam to the boat. She was the sort of person who made you feel better after talking with her. When we graduated at Queen’s the Dean of Medicine at that time (John Henry Biggart) addressed us prior to our taking the Hippocratic Oath and told us to remember that we all represented ambassadors for Queen’s. Mary certainly did Queen’s proud.

 

Her last years were difficult with arthritis, kidney disease and other complications which she bore well.

 

R Brian Lowry


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