Dr. Keith C. Hammond
M.B. B.S, D.R.C.O.G., DA, F.R.C.P (C)
March 1, 1935 – February 10, 2016
Keith was born in London, England, where he received his primary medical degrees from Guy’s Hospital (London University), to which he immediately added a Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynecology. He practiced as a government doctor for two and a half years in what was then the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. He was the first doctor on the scene when the plane carrying the Secretary General of the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjold, crashed near Ndola Airport in 1961. Returning to England, he obtained a Diploma in Anesthesia, met and married Gina, and emigrated to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, where he served as a general practitioner/anesthetist for about 4 years. Taking a respite from general practice, the family went back to England to prepare their 35ft. sloop “Genever” for sailing across the Atlantic to the Caribbean, where they stayed for nearly two years, during which Keith worked in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, for three months, and set up the first anesthetic machine on the San Blas Islands. In 1970, they moved to Vancouver where Keith could obtain specialist training in radiology, which was followed by a brief stint as a researcher and diagnostic radiologist at the B.C. Cancer Agency. He joined the medical staff of the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital in 1978, and served terms as Head of the Department of Radiology, and as a member of the Hospital’s Board of Directors. He retired in 2000.
Keith’s eclectic interests were fuelled by an inquisitive and analytical mind. He excelled as a yachtsman. As an expert mechanic, what he couldn’t fix he replaced with ingenious work-arounds. He bought a new Harley-Davidson, the last of the models with m.p.h. on the speedometer, kept it in his den on the second floor of their Cape Cod-style home, and fired it up annually at their Christmas parties, giving his friends a good laugh and the house a good rattle. He took his family to Alaska and the high Arctic in their 20-foot power boat, regularly windsurfed in the Baja and Hawaii, wrote a successful information system software program for the Madrona Medical Imaging Clinic, and authored a partially autobiographical novel ‘Twelve” (featuring Brother Twelve), which won an ‘Independent Publishers’ bronze medal. His often delightfully quirky, independent point of view on many topics, as humorous as it was refreshing, was always balanced with a generous dollop of common sense. An entertaining raconteur, he shared a wealth of vignettes based on his many amusing and sometimes harrowing adventures, medical and otherwise.
Keith endured with dignity the cruelty of rapidly advancing Parkinson’s disease. He leaves Gina, his devoted wife of 52 years, sons Tim (Kyoko), Malcolm (Alison), and four grandchildren. The family wishes to thank Dr. A. Natarajan, the nursing staff on the 1st Floor of NRGH, and many supportive friends.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Keith’s name can be made to the NRGH Foundation. A celebration of life will be announced at a later date.