William Bruce Arnup

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Bill was a scholar and an athlete. His skills at football took him to legendary heights on the Meds team. WWII cancelled intercollegiate football so that he could not match his older brother as star quarterback of the Blues. He was so skillful at bridge and snooker that few wished to challenge him.

Military service after graduation took him to Kingston and later to Camp Borden.

His father had been the Moderator of the United Church in Canada after having been a missionary with that church in inland China. Bill was a man of real integrity and determination. By the time his post-graduate training in internal medicine was completed in Toronto, the Communists under Mao were preparing to drive Chiang Kai-shek to his last redoubt in Taiwan. In spite of this, and despite being offered the most senior medical residency at Toronto General, Bill pushed ahead with his original plan to be a Medical Missionary in Ghengtu, West China at Union University, as an instructor in medicine. With his first daughter of 2 years and his first son of 1 year in tow, he embarked for West China.

He and his wife Barbara mastered the language.  Fifteen months later Mao decreed that all missionaries were to leave. A second daughter had been born in China and on the long trek to the boat on the Yangtze River she was in the care of a “Nanny”. They nearly missed this boat but Barbara managed to get aboard as the sailors were preparing to pull away.

Bill took the baby, Barbara jumped down eight to ten feet when the waves brought the dory closest. At the next wave Bill dropped the baby from a similar height into Barbara’s arms from the pier.  Foreigners, especially Christians, faced suspicion from the communists. Some thought this whole excursion was a rash trip in the first place. Others of us who knew him better knew that he was a man of purpose and dedication.

He finished more medical training upon return to Toronto but eschewed a proffered teaching position at TGH, preferring to deal with patients in a medical group in Peterborough. After a year his independent streak led him to start a referral practice in internal medicine in Lindsay, which thrived and was a real boon to that community until he retired.

In later life his passions became bird-watching and a revival of his old skills at fresh-water fishing. It is unlikely his abilities at bridge were let slip. He also became the founder of the Kawartha Field Naturalists. One of the daughters of Bill and Barbara graduated in medicine, and tragically died at a young age.

Bill had all the attributes of knowledge, wisdom and reliability to allow us to designate him as a “model physician” There should be an Arnup-like doctor in all communities of the size of Lindsay in this province. In several places this has happened and happily in several instances the need has been met by graduates of 4T4.

Link to Dr. Arnup's obituary: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/thestar/obituary.aspx?n=william-bruce-a...


Excerpt written by: Henry Barnett


Barnett, Henry, Joan Borland, Jack Laidlaw, Neil Watters and Bruce Wells. The Epic Journey of University of Toronto Medical Class of 1944. Toronto: University of Toronto, Faculty of Medince, 2012. pg. 14

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