It is with great sadness that the family announces Harvey Beardmore’s death on February 10, 2007, at the Hotel Dieu Hospital in St. Jerome, Quebec. Predeceased by his wife, Frances and his son Ian, he leaves behind his children Richard (Marianne Bergstrom) Anne ( Jim Ransehousan), Patricia ( the late Ed Muldoon), Carol ( Garry Lamb), Diane (Derek Lobb) and ten grandchildren: Ben, Sarah, Simon, Kate, John, Jennifer, Heather, Gordon, Colin, Rachel and a great grandchild Jack. Born in Windsor, Ontario, he started medical studies at McGill University in 1942. His studies were interrupted by WWII during which he proudly served as a Lieutenant and Platoon Commander with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in Europe from 1943-45. Returning to Montreal in 1945 he married Frances Barnes and completed his medical degree in 1948.
After six more years of specialty training, he joined the staff at the Montreal Children’s Hospital in Pediatric Surgery in 1953. Over the next 42 years he practiced his profession in Montreal and was a pioneer in the establishment of pediatric surgery as a recognized medical specialty in North America and the world. He served in the leadership of every important Pediatric Surgical organization in North America. In 1967 he was a founding member of the Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgery and served as its first president. From 1969 to 1971 he served as Chairman of the Surgical Section of the American Academy of Pediatrics. In 1974 he was elected President of the American Pediatric Surgery Association. He served on the Pediatric Surgery Advisory Council of the American College of Surgeons, eventually serving as Chairman of the Surgical Section of the American Academy of Pediatrics. During his career he traveled to many countries to provide medical training and advice to colleagues in his field. His reputation attracted many doctors to come to Montreal to train and do research under his direction. He taught and carried out research for many years at McGill’s medical school. He received numerous awards for his pioneering efforts, including the Robert E. Gross award (1982), the William E. Ladd Award (1986) and the Distinguished Service Award (2004), the latter in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the care of infants and children. He was the only Canadian to receive these awards at the time. In 1975, the World Federation of Associations of Pediatric Surgeons was founded and Harvey was elected as its first President.
Although Harvey enjoyed traveling to foreign countries, the farm in Mille Isles, Quebec was a source of great pleasure for him and his family. Upon his retirement in 1995, he continued to live there until his death. Harvey will be remembered for his wonderful sense of humour, his skill in the kitchen, and for being the life of a party. He was a great raconteur and shared many good times at various fishing and hunting lodges across North America. His favourites included his association with The Famous Grouse, Turtle Lake, Algonquin Park and Green Lake. He was never happier than when he was home in the Laurentian Mountains. We will all miss him.
Our heart felt thanks to Nicolem, Kevin and Linda for their special care to the end.
A private family cremation was held on February 12th, 2007. A celebration of his life, memorial service and burial in Mille Isles will follow. Donations in his memory may be made to The Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation, Place Alexis Nihon 3400 Boulevard de Maisonneuve Ouest, Bureau 1420, Montreal Quebec H3Z 3B7 or to The Muscular Dystrophy Association, Suite 900, 2345 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2E5
At the 35th American Pediatric Surgical Association Meeting held in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, this year’s Frank M. Guttman Visiting Professor, Dr. Bradley Rodgers, presented the Distinguished Service Award to Dr. Harvey Beardmore. This award was established several years ago by the Board of Governors of American Pediatric Surgical Association to recognize individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to Pediatric Surgery. This award is presented from time to time at the discretion of the Board of Governors and to date has been given to only four individuals for their contributions to our Specialty. Dr. Harvey Beardmore received his General Surgery Training at McGill University and Pediatric Training at Boston Children’s Hospital and was certified by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1953. He accepted a position on the Faculty at Montreal Children’s Hospital where he worked until his retirement in 1995. Dr. Beardmore held the position of Pediatric General Surgery Program Director, at the Montreal Children’s Hospital from the 70’s into early 1980.
The following is a tribute to Dr. Harvey Beardmore, from Dr. Bradley M. Roders:
It is with great pleasure to award APSA’s 5th Distinguished Service Award this evening. Tonight’s awardee describes himself as a “Congenital Canadian”, having been born in Windsor, Ontario in 1921. I should note that the town of Windsor, just north of the St. Laurence River, is as close to being born in the United States as you can come! So it is little wonder that both Canada and the United States have from time to time laid claim to this man. Like many young men of the time, our awardee interrupted his college career to serve in World War II. He served as an infantry platoon commander with Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in Northern Europe. Our awardee returned to Canada in August 1945 and promptly volunteered to serve in the Pacific Theatre. He was one day out of Halifax on a military convoy when VJ Day was claimed. He received an educational discharge and returned to McGill where he earned his Bachelor of Science in 1946 and a MD in 1948. You will note that he completed Medical School in two years and we are not entirely sure today whether this is a reflection of his native brilliance or the sad state of the Canadian Education System at the time.
Dr. Harvey Beardmore has served in the leadership of every important Pediatric Surgical Organization in North America. In 1967 he was a founding member of the Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgery and served as its first President between 1967 and 1973. Between 1969 and 1973 he served on the Pediatric Surgery Advisory Council of the American College of Surgeons and between 1969 and 1971 he served as the Chairman of the Surgical Section of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He was elected President of the APSA in 1974, the only Canadian to such serve. In 1986 he was awarded the William Ladd Gold Medal from the AAP, the highest level of achievement a surgeon can reach in that organization.
In 1972, just after his service of Chairman of the Surgical Section, Dr. Harvey Beardmore initiated a series of correspondence with the American Board of Surgery, which culminated in an invitation to present an appeal on behalf of Pediatric Surgery for special recognition by the Board. In June 1972, Dr. Beardmore made an elegant presentation to the American Board of Surgery on behalf of Pediatric Surgery, requesting a certificate of special competence in Pediatric Surgery A Committee was formed with the Directors of the Board and later that year the American Board of Surgery agreed to issue a certificate in Special Competence in Pediatric Surgery, the first such certificate issued by the Board. It would be incorrect to imply that this extraordinary event was solely the work of Harvey Beardmore, as clearly many others within the Surgical Section had made similar requests of the American Board of Surgery, but it was Harvey’s elegant presentation which finally turned the tide. Dr. Harvey Beardmore has been an extraordinary leader in Pediatric Surgery in North America. His name will be indebtedly linked with our certification within the American Board of Surgery. I am extremely honored to present to Dr. Harvey Beardmore on behalf of the APSA’s Board of Governors, our Distinguished Service Award.