Colonel Sir Ernest Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop AC, CMG, OBE was an Australian surgeon renowned for his leadership while being held prisoner by the Japanese during World War II. He restored morale in the prison camps and jungle hospitals. He devoted himself to the health and welfare of former prisoners-of-war, and their families, and worked to promote better relations between Australia and Asia. In addition to being a courageous leader and compassionate doctor, he was a Freemason.
In 1985, the Weary Dunlop Medical Research Foundation was established to encourage medical researchers to study the health conditions of Veterans, serving personnel and their families.
Since Sir Edward passed away, an annual memorial has been conducted, traditionally on his birthday the 12 July. This July marked the 30th Anniversary of these events.
Lodge Liberation No.674 has attended these Memorials for several years and built a valuable relationship with the members of the Weary Dunlop Medical Research Foundation, their other supporters and researchers.
This year’s moving ceremony was conducted in the Sanctuary of the Shrine of Remembrance and led by President of the Weary Dunlop Medical Research Foundation, Robert Winther OAM. It was attended by more than a hundred Distinguished Guests and representatives of ex-POW Associations. The Ode was recited by Diana Dunlop, Sir Edward's granddaughter.
Freemasons Neil Nyholm and Ron Ferdinands presented the Weary Dunlop Medical Research Foundation with the proceeds of their fundraising for the year, which when added to a Masonic Grant, totalled $12,420. The Weary Dunlop Medical Research Foundation used this donation to award a grant to Dr Monica Langiu’s research to identify biomarkers associated with synaptic learning for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease – a type of cognitive/memory impairment that heavily affects veterans.
Through the work of young Victoria medical researchers, Weary Dunlop’s legacy lives on.