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DR. FRED STABB
FORMER MEDICAL DOCTORS WHO PRACTISED
IN ST. JOHN'S.
BY N. S. FRASER
EVENING TELEGRAM June 4, 1947
Mr. Fred Stabb returned to his native town of St. John's May 26th, 1890, and was welcomed by many of the friends of his boyhood days, including the present writer. We now had a friendly group in the medical profession and frequently joined in passing the evening together talking of our cases, friendly chats and games. Dr. Stewart Pike and Dr. MacKenzie, colleagues of the Edinburgh days and Dr. Dickie Murray, also an Edinburgh friend, who practised at Norton's Cove, and came to spend the Christmas holidays with us. Dickie Murrray liked to take the ladies of the household out for an evening's enjoyment ... concert or theatre ... and entered into all sports. One evening it was discovered that Danielle had advertised fresh oysters, so we had to get a few; but they were in the shell and we did not have an oyster opener. That was nothing! Dr. Murray would open them with a hammer, and he soon found that the job was bigger than he anticipated. The mess of the kitchen and all hands can be better imagined than described.
Dr. Stabb had a serious attack of diphtheria from which he convalesced at Avalon, the residence of his brother-in-law Arthur Rendell, and we had many talks about the dread disease and its treatment. We agreed that local treatment was useless, that it, like smallpox, was a blood disease, and some form of vaccination would be necessary for treatment; and so we treated some half dozen cases inoculating them with serum from cases recovering from diphtheria. This was two years before being discovered the antitoxin for diphtheria.
Dr. Stabb's specialty was surgery, and when he became attached to the General Hospital working with Dr. Herbert Rendell he did good work at the Institution. The attack of diphtheria seemed to have left its after effects and he died from an abscess of the larynx.
Dr. Fred never married but kept bachelor quarters with this friend Will Green, the architect responsible for many public buildings built after the 1892 fire. Mr. Green established the Stabb Memorial at the General Hospital ... a lecture room for the nurses in training, fully equipped for the purpose and of great convenience to the Institution.
Copied August 14, 1975
Contributed by: Barbara McGrath
Transcribed by: Ivy F. Benoit (January 2001)
Page revised: August 2002 (Terry Piercey)
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