The highest honour in Canterbury
in the Queen's Birthday Honours List today has gone to Dr
Herbert Bramwell Cook, a Companion of the New Zealand Order of
Dr Cook retired last year as
full-time consultant gastroenterologist to Christchurch
Hospital, after a career entirely in the public health sector.
Dr Cook worked largely in the
diagnosis and treatment of coeliac disease, a disorder in the
small bowel caused by intolerance to wheat, rye, and barley.
Research in which Dr Cook
collaborated found the disease was common in New Zealand, with
600 recognised cases in Christchurch. Effects of the disease
vary greatly and studies estimated more than 2000 Christchurch
cases went unrecognised.
Dr Cook, 67, spent his first
16 years in India, where his father was a Salvation Army
missionary doctor. He completed his secondary schooling at
Christchurch Boys' High, then studied medicine at Otago
Apart from five years in
Britain and the United States during the 1960s, he has spent
all his working life in Christchurch. This included teaching
at the School of Medicine.
He said the award was made
possible by his "group of excellent colleagues" in
the health service.
Dr Cook has long been active
in the Salvation Army and has done voluntary work for it since
1974. He said he always tried to practise compassion,
instilled in him by his parents.