10 November 2016
Ms GRALEY (Narre Warren South) — A true believer, Dr Alan McPhate was born at Mordialloc hospital on 9 February 1929 to Charles and Irene McPhate. Alan attended Mordialloc primary and secondary schools, then Scotch College. He went on to study medicine at the University of Melbourne, with his first placement at Royal Hobart Hospital, where he met Joan Hammond, whom he married. They went to live in Warragul. Following Joan’s tragic death, he met Maureen, who had lost her husband. They fell in love and joined up their families — Margaret, Bruce, Ann and David, and they welcomed into the world their Peter. They were devoted to making a secure and loving family.
Alan had a reputation as a dedicated and skilled doctor. He was loved by his patients and respected by his peers. In 1994 he was admitted to the Australian Medical Association Roll of Fellows. I recall my first meeting with Alan and his beautiful wife Maureen at the Mount Martha Australian Labor Party branch. To say he made an impression is an understatement. Straight on to the executive and onto the council campaign trail — letters to the editor, letterboxing, public meetings and generous donations meant people like me got started on their political journeys.
As so many testified at his memorial service, he was zealously committed to social justice causes and a warrior for the ALP — a life member. He changed people’s lives with his generosity, his drive and his wisdom. A prolific reader, he was always at the centre of debates and discussions. He was a member of the humanist society for over 20 years, and was involved with the Uniting Church, Community Aid Abroad and Friends of the ABC. He made us all better people and empowered us to make a contribution to the betterment of others. He followed the light on the hill, always lending a helping hand. Alan’s generous and capable hands were extended to so many of us. Loved and admired, sadly missed — vale Dr Alan McPhate, 9 October 2016.