Class of 1945

When Ted Haywood was studying at Aquinas College he had no idea of the area of medicine in which he would become a pioneer as it did not yet have a name. Nephrology was known as “kidney disease” until the early 1960s. He was a pioneer in the practice in WA with his colleague Peter Hurst.

Ted came from a farming background tinged with tragedy as his mother, Winifred Maud died while giving birth to his younger brother at the age of 26. He was only four years of age. Her funeral cortege was one of the largest ever seen in Brookton where her family owned the Club Hotel. After his mother’s passing her sister, “Aunt Bessie” had the biggest influence on him. He remembers: “she spoilt me rotten”.

He was sent off to Aquinas as a boarder at the age of eleven where happier times awaited him. By the time he left in 1945 he had enjoyed every aspect of college life: football, cricket, rowing and tennis where he was school champion. In fact, he didn’t want to leave. Off the field, he excelled in Maths, Physics and Latin. Ted enjoyed being taught by the Brothers especially Headmaster Brother William Virgil Green who taught him French and Latin.

Holidays were spent in Brookton and after his grandmother sold the hotel, his father’s farm in Goomalling.

On leaving school Ted studied science at UWA before changing to medicine in Adelaide in his second year. He went on to spend four years at the Royal Perth as a registrar and was a GP for eight years. He turned his attention to kidney disease, nephrology hadn’t been invented. “Nephrology and I grew up together” he remembers. The first recipient of a donor kidney in WA, David Marsh provided an unforgettable moment in 1966.

Ted and Peter were asked to set up a nephrology department at Royal Perth and was appointed Senior Lecturer so was employed both by UWA and the hospital. He lectured in nephrology six times a year while simultaneously producing research. As his reputation in the sector grew in stature Ted was approached to start a department at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. In 2006 a home for kidney transplant donors was opened by Minister for Housing and Works Michelle Roberts bearing Ted’s name in recognition of his 26 years of service to organ donation in WA.

Ted believes what Aquinas gave him was discipline without which he would never have become one of the country’s leading nephrologists. The secret for him was to love what you do. He loved school and didn’t want to leave; he loved university didn’t want to leave and loved the thrill of getting up every day to solve problems and change lives. It’s an energy that he now pours into a splendid garden where he lives in the Roleystone hills.