George Harold Thomas, Dr.
- Existence: 1889 - 1975
Dr. George Harold Thomas (譚嘉士) (1889-1975) was a renowned medical practitioner in Hong Kong. He was an orphan and later was adopted by L.F. Thomas Tam (譚夏士), who was the father of Sir William Nagartse Thomas Tam (譚雅士).
Educated at the Hong Kong College of Medicine and later The University of Hong Kong (HKU), Dr. Thomas was the first graduate of the Faculty of Medicine of HKU who attained a distinction for his MBBS studies as well as the first student who obtained his doctorate degree (MD) at the HKU.
Dr. Thomas has dedicated himself to medical industry throughout his life. After his graduation, he joined the Tung Wah Hospital in 1912 as a resident surgeon and later became the Superintendent in 1937. He also served as a Medical Officer in the government that he took charge of the civil and mental hospitals, Mental Hospital, Tsan Yuk Hospital and the Queen Mary Hospital. In 1947, he was appointed the Deputy and the Acting Director of Medical Services by the Hong Kong Government. In 1941, Dr. Thomas was made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of British Empire (MBE) and later the Officer of the Most Excellent Order (OBE) in 1946 for his tremendous contribution to the public service. He retired from the Medical Department in around 1949 but continued serving at the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals till his retirement in 1972 after 60-years’ service.
Besides serving the society by being a medical practitioner as well as administrator in the public sector, Dr. Thomas has also actively involved in university medical education. He started his teaching at the HKU in 1915 and has taught various subjects such as pharmacology, ophthalmology, mental diseases, anatomy, clinical surgery, vaccination and anaesthetics. With great appreciation to all the hard work and contribution done by Dr. Thomas to both the society and the medical industry, the HKU awarded the honorary degree of Doctor in Laws to him in 1961.
Dr. Thomas married Nora Gourdin in 1920 and passed away in 1975. The couple had four sons, namely Osler, Huxley, Kelvin, and Barclay. Following the footstep of his father, Osler Thomas (譚藹勵) has also developed his career in the medical industry.