Gordon Brander was born in Keighley, Yorkshire, where his father Hugh Stewart Brander was a medical practitioner. He was educated at Clifton College and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, graduating BA in 1931. He then went on to study medicine at St Thomas’ Hospital, London. During the next four years he held various hospital appointments, graduating MA MB in 1937 and gaining his membership of the College the following year.
From August 1939 to December 1945 he saw war service with the RAMC, initially as a regimental medical officer and then as medical specialist to a succession of General Hospitals. Promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel he served in the 27th General Hospital, Middle East Forces, and as consultant physician to a prisoner of war hospital.
On demobilization in 1946 he was appointed senior physician to Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton, and served the hospital until 1953 when he emigrated to Zimbabwe, then Southern Rhodesia, on his appointment as consultant physician to the National Railways. In 1954 he became honorary physician to the Harare Group of Hospitals. He was a member of the examination board of the Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) Medical Council in 1958 and chairman of the board in 1964. For a number of years he served on the Mashonaland branch council of the British Medical Association. After retirement he continued as emeritus physician to the Harare Group of hospitals and ran his own busy consultant practice.
He married Avis née Hough, daughter of a Hooghly River surveyor, in 1938 and they had two daughters. A happy first marriage ended with the death of his wife in 1962 after a long illness. He subsequently married Joan Powell, in 1964, and enjoyed an equally happy marriage for 25 years. He was indeed fortunate in having a close and loving family.
Gordon Brander was in every sense a gentleman - kind, considerate and without guile. He was an astute and extremely caring physician. At times his work load was enormous, but he accepted it quietly and cheerfully and always maintained an extremely high standard of medical practice. He was greatly loved and respected by patients and colleagues alike. Many of his colleagues had good reason to be grateful for his advice and wise counsel. He was a founder member of the Harare Island Hospice and, until a few months before his death, its medical director. His wife Joan and his two daughters, Celia and Wendy survived him.
J I Forbes
[Central African J.of Med.,36,7 July 1990]