George Clifton Halliday (1901 – 1987)

george halliday on left

George Halliday on the left

George was born in Cooma on 22/04/1901.

He married to Hester Judith Macansh in Sydney in 1927.
Hester was born in 1902 in Ryde.

They had 3 children:

  • David Macansh Halliday (1930 – 28/05/2002 in Cape Hawke NSW)

  • 2 Private Halliday

George died in Sydney on 25/07/1987.

Hester died on 18/11/1991 in Sydney.

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 17, (MUP), 2007

George Halliday, also educated at King’s College, Goulburn, took his final year at The King’s School, Parramatta, where he was dux. Winner of the State under-16 lawn tennis singles championship, he was also in the Great Public Schools first XI (cricket) and a State country hockey representative. His application to the Royal Military College, Duntroon, was rejected on the grounds that his body was asymmetrical; the right side was hypertrophied because of his sporting activities. After teaching mathematics at The King’s School for a term, he studied medicine at the University of Sydney (MB, Ch.M., 1925) residing at St Paul’s College.

On 2 June 1927 at St James’s Church of England, Sydney, Halliday married Hester Judith Macansh. A general practitioner at Tamworth for several years, he then went to Edinburgh (FRCS, 1934) to train in otolaryngology. He returned to Sydney and was appointed to the otolaryngology staff at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, where he served until 1961; he also practised as senior surgeon (1936-47) in that specialty at St George Hospital.

Appointed as a captain in the AAMC, AIF, on 1 July 1940 and promoted to major in November, Halliday joined his brother in the Middle East. In April-May 1941, with the 2/6th AGH, he took part in the disastrous campaigns in Greece and Crete. Back in Australia in 1943, he served in North Queensland before transferring to the Reserve of Officers on 23 August 1943.

In 1946 George Halliday went to New York for further study. He combined his busy private practice with lecturing (1948-60) on diseases of the ear, nose and throat at the University of Sydney, and further study visits abroad. His service (councillor 1945-56; president 1950-51) on the State branch of the British Medical Association included the period in the late 1940s when it was resisting the Federal Labor government’s attempts to nationalise the profession. In 1950 he was the Halliwell prime mover in the formation of the Oto-Laryngological Society of Australia, of which he became president in 1962. An honorary member (1970) of the otology section of the Royal Society of Medicine, London, he was an invited speaker at international congresses. He introduced to Australia the fenestration operation to cure deafness caused by otosclerosis. Knighted in 1967, he was a fellow of the Australasian College of Surgeons and an honorary fellow (1985) of the University of Sydney.

Halliday was governor (1954-77) and honorary secretary (1975-77) of The King’s School council. He remained a keen competition tennis player. A sociable man, he belonged to the Union, Elanora Country and Royal Sydney Golf clubs. Sir George died on 25 July 1987 at his home at Rose Bay and was cremated. His wife and their daughter and two sons, one of whom, George (`Mac’), was also an ear, nose and throat specialist, survived him.