Dr Millen Coughtrey (1848 - 1908)
Anatomy Professor and St Clairs medical
Coughtrey was born in Lancashire and graduated
as a doctor from Edinburgh University in
1871. In 1875 he was selected as the foundation
professor of anatomy at Otago University.
Two years later he resigned this post when
his right to operate a private medical practice
at the same time was questioned. This was
typical of Dr Coughtrey, a man who relished
public disputes but was 'inflexibly upright'
in his conduct. He established his own hospital
at St Clair, on the street which now bears
his name. This was the first medical institution
of its type in the area.
Coughtrey was a man of diverse interests,
who devoted much of his time to public service.
He took a lead in establishing the Otago
Medical Association, was a public vaccinator
and gaol surgeon, served on the St Kilda
Borough Council, the Dunedin Jockey Club
committee and was President of the Otago
Rugby Football Union from 1887-1890. He
was also the Otago correspondent of the
Royal Humane Society of Australasia. Coughtrey
was renowned for his thorough approach to
any matter. This sometimes exposed him to
public ridicule as when he tried to advise
the firm of Noyes Brothers on the electrification
of the tram system in 1902. He was, nonetheless,
held in high esteem by the Dunedin community
which he served devotedly.
(Caricature, The Sketcher, Otago
Settlers Museum Collection)
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