WAS DR. R. E. MCKECHNIE?
Dr. Robert E. McKechnie was born in Brockville, Ontario,
on April 25, 1861. He completed his secondary school education in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island,
and in 1886, began his studies at McGill
He received a medical degree from McGill in
1890. He moved to BC in 1891. He practised in the Nanaimo area for the next ten and a half
years. Dr. McKechnie was first elected to the Council of the College of Physicians
and Surgeons of BC in 1896, and served as its president in 1897, 1906 and 1910.
In 1898, he was elected MLA for Nanaimo
and served as Minister without portfolio in the government of Premier Semlin.
He was elected the first president of the British Columbia Medical Association
in 1899. In 1904 and moved his practice to Vancouver, where he remained for the rest of
his career. He was a long time staff member of the Vancouver General
Hospital and was a member
of the Board of Directors as well as a Life Governor. He was also a founding
member and regent of the American
College of Surgeons, a
founding member of the North Pacific Surgical Society, and president of the
Canadian Medical Association twice, in 1914 and 1920. In 1928, the Vancouver
Medical Association awarded him the Honour of "Prince of Good
Fellows". He became a charter member of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada in 1931, and in that year presented the
Osler Lecture in Vancouver.
In addition to his medical career, Dr. McKechnie was actively associated with
the establishment and development of the University of British
Columbia, being elected to its first senate in
1912 and serving as Chancellor from 1918 until his death. He received honorary
degrees from both McGill University (1912) and UBC (1925), was awarded the
King's Jubilee Medal for services to Canada,
and was later made Commander of the Order of the British
Empire. Dr. McKechnie died on May 24, 1944 in Vancouver.
Dr. R.E. McKechnie School was officially
opened by Dr. Wallace Wilson on Friday, November 22, 1957.