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MORRISON, Dr Reginald ‘Reggie’ Herbert (1864-1941)

'Reggie' Morrison (Rugby, 1886)

'Reggie' Morrison (Rugby, 1886)

MORRISON, Dr Reginald ‘Reggie’ Herbert (1864-1941)


Medical practitioner, athlete and rugby player, ‘Reggie’ Morrison was renowned both at the College and in Scotland as a talented and versatile sportsman. The third child and second son of founding Geelong College Principal, George Morrison, 'Reggie' was born at Knowle House and educated at the College, matriculating in 1879. At School, he captained both the Cricket and Football Teams in 1880 and 1881 and during those years played for the Geelong Football Club. A gifted athlete at School, he won the Ladies Cup in 1880, a race over 440 yards and excelled the following year in the Maiden Plate, Steeplechase, and Throwing competition in the College Sports, emerging as that year’s winner of the Geelong College Cup as well as being the Senior Tennis Champion. He later became President of the OGCA. Like many of his era, he studied medicine at Edinburgh in Scotland, graduating in 1888, and, eventually practising as a general practitioner in Toorak, Melbourne and later as an obstetrician and gynaecologist with the Royal Women’s Hospital.

‘Reggie’ Morrison became a leading amateur athlete of Scotland and a distinguished Scottish rugby representative. He played cricket for the University, was a leading swimmer and captained the University Rugby XV. As a national rugby representative playing threequarter back he played in England, Wales and Ireland. He married in Scotland to Elizabeth Jane Profitt (1865-1943). Three sons were born - George Noel Irving Morrison known as ‘Tim’ (1893-1971) joined the British Colonial Service becoming acting Governor of part of the Sudan and worked for the British Foreign Office; Lt Col David Irving Morrison (1903-1944) was killed while on active service in Burma during World War II; the third son was Norman Irving Morrison (1909-1968), a lieutenant in the AIF during World War II who farmed near Seymour. All three sons were educated at the College.

Dr R. H. Morrison’s was President of the OGCA in 1916, and member of College Council 1911-1932. He was a member of the Melbourne Club, 1902-1941, and served as Vice President in 1935 and President in 1936.

Transcription of item written by Dr Colin Macdonald and published in "The Book of Remembrance", The Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne, 1956 (https://www.thewomens.org.au/):

REGINALD HERBERT MORRISON
(1899 - 1925)
Reginald Herbert Morrison was a son of Dr. George Morrison, who founded Geelong College as a private school in 1861. It was there that "Reggie" Morrison, as he was universally known, was educated. Like many of his contemporaries, he studied medicine at Edinburgh University, graduating M.B. Ch.M. in 1888.

Returning to Melbourne about 1890, "Reggie" Morrison built up a large and successful general practice at Toorak. An interest in obstetrics and gynaecology soon became evident, and he joined the honorary staff of the Women’s Hospital in 1899. Over a long span of years he actively served this hospital, first as an obstetrician and later as a gynaecologist. In 1925, he was appointed an Honorary Gynaecological Surgeon.

In 1910 he relinquished general practice and, practising in Collins Street, confined himself solely to obstetrics and gynaecology. As senior surgeon to the Women’s Hospital, he succeeded Dr. Felix Meyer as lecturer in obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Melbourne, retiring from this appointment in 1926. He was recognised as a good lecturer.

Morrison was associated with the formation of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, of which he was a foundation Fellow, and was on the Victorian State Council of that College for several years.
Reginald Morrison was a member of a very distinguished family. His uncle was the famous Dr. Alexander Morrison, of Scotch College, Melbourne, and his brother, Dr. George Ernest, was "Chinese" or "Peking" Morrison, adviser to the Chinese Government at the time of the Boxer Rebellion, and an outstanding authority on that Country.

As a young man, "Reggie" Morrison was a magnificent athlete, excelling at cricket, football, swimming and as a middle-distance runner. He played senior football for the Geelong Club for two years and, whilst at Edinburgh, played international rugby for Scotland during three seasons. He was an active member of the Melbourne Club, of which at one time he had the distinction of being president, and was also a member of the Rotary Club for a number of years. He was widely recognised as a very skilled exponent of the game of bridge.

Reginald Morrison had three sons of whom he was very proud. Though to be rather severe at times, beneath this exterior was a very kindly nature. He died in 1941.


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Print acquired from Grosvenor Prints, London, and presented by David N.Morrison (grandson of Dr.R.H.Morrison) to The Geelong College December 2019:
R. H. (later Dr. R. H.) Morrison, second son of The College's founding Principal Dr George Morrison, became the first Old Geelong Collegian to play sport at the international level, when, as an Edinburgh University medical student, he was selected to play rugby for Scotland in all three international matches of the 1886 rugby season versus respectively England, Wales and Ireland. He is shown in the 1910 print of an earlier original painting, standing with hands on hips on the extreme left hand side of the print, poised to take delivery of the ball should it emerge out of the ruck down the Scottish three quarter line. A formidable all-round games player, "Reggie" Morrison captained The College cricket and football teams for two successive years (1880 and 1881), and went on to captain both the Edinburgh University cricket and football teams. During the one (1886) rugby season that he played for Scotland, he was also the side's top points scorer as they defeated Ireland (24- 0), Wales (13-0) and drew (0-0) with England.

Historical details from Grosvenor Prints, dealers in Antique Prints and Books, Covent Garden, London - " (RUGBY) (A FOOTBALL MATCH, ENGLAND v SCOTLAND ) W.H.Overend/ L.Smythe c.1910.
Photographic print, very scarce size 9.5" x 15.25" . A photographic print of the late Victorian monochrome photogravure by Goupil & Co , entitled "A Football Match, Association Game", after the original painting by W.H.Overend & L.P.Smythe. The rugby match takes place at the Edinburgh Academical Football Club, Raeburn Place, formed in 1857 and the oldest in Scotland. It hosted the first ever international match between Scotland and England in 1871, and the first Calcutta Cup (Scotland v England annual fixture) in 1879. This Scotland/ England encounter depicts the match in full flight. Behind the players is the referee, and behind him are two mounted policemen with the crowd and clubhouse. (REF 31810)



Sources: OGC 1881, D. Morrison, Dr Colin Macdonald "The Book of Remembrance" The Royal Women's Hospital Melbourne 1956 (https://www.thewomens.org.au/about/our-history/biographies#BookofRemembrance), The Age 5 May 1941.
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