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Obituary: Julian Woolfson OBE LLM FRCOG

Written by Richard Warren

Julian was a great friend, an accomplished physician and a true devotee to the Royal College.

He was successful in all that he did; an expert in financial matters, in medical legal medicine and held a Master’s Degree in Law. He was a champion of education and had a very successful, longstanding role, as Chair of the Board of Governors of Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication – for which he was deservedly awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2008.

Julian was a medical student in Salisbury, Rhodesia, then part of the University of Birmingham. He qualified MB, ChB in 1971. His love for Africa arose from his education there and followed his roles as a junior doctor in Salisbury, Rhodesia followed by Johannesburg, South Africa.

Julian came to the UK in 1974 and undertook research at St Mary’s Paddington. He worked as an RMO at The Samaritan Hospital, as a registrar at Kingston Upon Thames, The Royal Berkshire Hospital and he undertook further, perinatal research at The John Radcliffe, Oxford. He achieved his MRCOG in 1978 and completed his training as senior registrar at Northampton and The John Radcliffe.  He worked as consultant at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup from 1985 to 2007. As a very successful clinician he also held many roles in NHS administration.

He was elevated to FRCOG in 1990 and gained his Master’s in Law in 2000.

Julian was committed to the RCOG. The list of his RCOG appointments and achievements is extensive and impressive. His knowledge of finance and legal matters combined with a lovely, gentle personality and great wisdom, led to his appointment and valued counsel on a long list of RCOG Committees and Boards.  He was RCOG CPD Officer, and held several Chairmanships including that of the Publications Management Committee.

Julian became a close colleague and dear friend during his role as honorary Treasurer, a post he held from 2005 to 2010.

My role as Hon Secretary at the same time, gave me the fortune of sharing an office with him for five years. During this time, I gained clear insight into his charming personality and great abilities. He gave wise advice and knew the finances of the College intricately. Despite the complexities of the subject matter, Julian was able to summarise the important financial issues to Council with great clarity. During a period of fiscal difficulties, he steered the College prudently and with great providence.

His lovely and very accomplished wife, Mari, survives him. Mari gave invaluable support to him during his career and they, as a couple, became great friends to so many.

Julian was a great servant to the College, and he is sorely missed.

Ric Warren FRCOG