Harold Woodruff (1877 – 1966) veterinary pathologist, bacteriologist
Apart from his influence on the careers of several famous scientists, Harold Woodruff’s most notable success was to establish the Public Health Laboratories within the bounds of the Melbourne University. Woodruff was also involved in many aspects of the Methodist Church work. He held a weekly prayer-meeting for students and in 1931 acquired land to build a Student Christian Movement camp.
Harold Woodruff came to Australia as professor of veterinary pathology and director of the veterinary institute at the University of Melbourne. In October 1915 he joined the Australian Imperial Force and served in Egypt and France as a major in the Australian Army Veterinary Corps (A.D.V.S. 3rd Division).
Because the decline of the veterinary school was troubling the university council, he was permitted to return to Melbourne in 1917. President of the Veterinary Association of Victoria (1920-22) and of the Australian Veterinary Association (1922-23), he gave the presidential address to Section L of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science in 1920 and 1922.
On the closure of the veterinary school in 1928, Woodruff was offered the post of director of the bacteriology department; he was promoted professor in 1935. Under his somewhat rigorous régime the department steadily expanded and the teaching of bacteriology was given a firm foundation.
Apart from his influence on the careers of several famous scientists, Woodruff’s most notable success was to establish the Public Health Laboratories (now the Diagnostic Unit) within the bounds of the university. Throughout his career he published monographs, pamphlets and articles on veterinary, medical and theological issues.
Raised in the tradition of the Methodist Church, on his arrival in Victoria Woodruff was at once involved in many aspects of its work. He held a weekly prayer-meeting for students and in 1931 acquired land from Professor Henry Payne at Healesville to build a Student Christian Movement camp. At conferences of the Australian S.C.M. (of which he was State and national chairman) he proved a popular group leader. A councillor of Queen’s College, University of Melbourne, he served as acting master in 1928.
Concerned for world peace, he spoke on the issue on radio and belonged to the League of Nations Union (president, 1938) and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. He felt so strongly about the dangers of Fascism that he toured the mining towns of Gippsland in 1934 to warn against racial discrimination. In 1946 he urged the abolition of the White Australia policy.
Complete article : http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A120629b.htm
Woodruff, Harold Addison – Veterinary scientist and Bacteriologist
Image : Entrance to the Microbiological Diagnostic Unit on Royal Parade.
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