Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Petrovsky, Constantine Constantinovich (1933-1941)

updated March 24, 2014.

Constantine Constantinovich Petrovsky (1952 photo, 2nd from right) pictured with other staff of the Launceston General Hospital, from left: Drs. J.F. Clemente, J.K. O'Reilly and T.G.H. Hog. Petrovsky was to succeed Hog as the hospital's General-Superintendent. Credit: Examiner (Launceston, Tasmania)
b. [n.d.], Sakhalin, Russia. Escape the Revolution to Hong Kong via China. MBBS (HK) December 20, 1938. RAMC (#211623) 1941, promotions: Lieutenant September 30, 1941; Captain September 30, 1942; retired with a gratuity September 1949, final rank: Honorary Major. service: joined in Hong Kong, on the way to Europe, stopped in Singapore; British Field Ambulance Unit; Malaya Section September 30, 1941. Japanese occupation of Singapore, PoW, Changi 1942, transferred to Burma-Thailand Railway Camp "Death Railway" 1942-44; transferred to Hiroshima[1] August 22, 1944. Port Medical Officer, Italy, Germany, International Refugee Organization, United Nations December 1949 - November 1951. Australia December 1951. Registered to practice Sydney February 1952.  Tasmania. General-Superintendent, Launceston General Hospital 1952-72[2]. Honor: MBE June 6, 1946.

HONG KONG nlt.1933. HKU 1933-38. Registered to practice Hong Kong January 26, 1939 through EOP. Private practice 1939-41, address: 1/F, #226 Nathan Road, Kowloon 1941. Naturalized British subject (Certificate #O2517) August 5, 1939 (previous nationality: No Nationality). Hong Kong Defense Reserved, Essential Group September 14, 1939; General Group March 7, 1940; discharged with permission from Governor September 2, 1940 (for purpose to join RAMC). Inspector of Schools, October 1, 1940.

Petrovsky's sister [s.n.] and husband Leonard John Benuch, 1953 photo. Credit: Examiner (Launceston, Tasmania).
Siblings: [s.n.] m. Leonard John Benuch (Russian, naturized British subject, Hong Kong manager of 20th Century Fox Film Corporation). [Petrovsky's parents, two sisters and a brother lived in Sydney nlt.1951].
Kathleen Petrovsky, 1969 photo. Credit: The Straits Times.
m. Kathleen Violet Kathleen Maxwell, medical practitioner. Had issues: 1. Alex Petrovsky (attorney at law; principal, Petrovsky Partners, Barristers & Solicitors, Launceston, Tasmania); 2. Nikolai Petrovsky (BMedSc 1979, MBBS 1982 (Tasmania), FAICD 1990, FRACP 1994, PhD (Melbourne) 1998; Professor of Medicine; Director of Endocrinology Medicine, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia); 3. Irina Petrovsky (of Evendale).

[1] Petrovsky was sent to undertake slave labor in a coal mine known as "Sanyo POW Camp, Hiroshima #6 Branch Omine-Machi" situated more than 50 kilometers away from Hiroshima. He was mining coal, as usual, on August 6, 1945, when he other inmates while immediately after having been shocked by blast wave saw a column of black smoke coming up like mushroom. They were told by the Japanese guards the next day that everyone in Hiroshima was dead.

[2] Petrovsky was asked to resign in 1959 after a no-confidence vote by the medical staff, with whom he had had long period of disagreement. He was given a second option in lieu of resignation of that to accept either a demotion or dismissal at six months' notice. Petrovsky rallied the support of Professor Roy Douglas Wright (b.1907-d.1990) of University of Melbourne, an eminent scholar in medical science in Australia, and lodged an appeal which was upheld by a magistrate. The ruling that silenced the no-confidence vote did little to resolve the deep-rooted disagreement and it continued to haunt Petrovsky's tenure in the General Hospital. In 1971 allegations of mismanagement of the hospital led to public inquiry that took place in Hobat and Launceston. The inquiry ended on August 6, 1971 when promises were made by all members of the board of management of the hospital, Petrovsky, and A.B. Abbott, the lady superintendent, to submit their resignations. In the month that next followed, Petrovsky was made Assistant Director of Hospital and Medical Services [s.l.].

Selected bibliography: The British Imperial War Museum [internet]. Examiner (Launceston, Tasmania) April 12, 1952, p.3; May 3, 1952, p.3; June 24, 1954, p.4; August 7, 1971, p.3. Flinders University [internet]. The Hong Kong Government Gazette, January 27, 1939, #87; September 15, 1939, #801; March 8, 1940, #286; September 5, 1941, #1062; October 18, 1940, #1146; May 9, 1941, #558. Harper, Tim; Bayly, Christopher, Forgotten Wars: The End of Britain's Asian Empire, Penguin Group, 2007. The (British) National Archives › Naturalisation Certificate: Constantine Constantinovich Petrovsky [internet]. Pierpont, Trevor Sykes, The Petrovsky Feud: Stranger than Fiction, Financial Review, July 5, 1996 [internet]. The Straits Times, June 18, 1969, p.5. Supplement to the London Gazette, Novvember 25, 1941, p.6765; June 6, 1946, p.2736; June 18, 1946, p.3058; September 27, 1949, p.4602. Ube Branch POW Camp (Honshu Japan) By Phillip West [internet]. The University of Melbourne Archives › Sir Roy Douglas Wright Collection [internet].


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