January 31, 1921 – January 4, 2020
Douglas John Clifford passed away peacefully at home on January 24 2020, at the age of 98 years, surrounded by family. Born on January 31 1921 in London England, Douglas emigrated with his family to New Zealand at the age of 5, where he would eventually enter the University of Otago Medical School in 1939, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery in 1944. In 1946 Douglas volunteered for the Friends Ambulance Unit (sponsored by the Friends Service Committee) and traveled to China to offer his service as a physician. He spent four years there, serving various hospitals and remote villages while the conflicts of the Chinese Communist Revolution took place. During his time in China, Douglas took many photographs – a habit he was to continue for the rest of his life – which are now on exhibition in museums throughout China. It was in China that Douglas met his future wife Betty, an American, who was also volunteering with the Friends Service Unit.
Douglas and Betty would eventually settle in Port Alberni with their four children, Ronald, Shirley, Susan and Wendy, where Douglas became a General Practitioner and an enthusiastic member of the Alberni Valley Outdoor Club. He enjoyed living in Port Alberni and was very committed to the community.
Douglas is pre-deceased by his wife, Betty Clifford. He is survived by his four children Ronald (Anna), Shirley, Susan, and Wendy (Brad), and six grandchildren, Tristan, Jayme, Nicholas, Rory, Hanne, and Trent. Douglas will be remembered for his daily porridge, his unfailing ability to make lunch out of a drawer of old vegetables, for his constant kindness, and for the quiet wisdom of his presence. He was much loved and will be sorely missed.
Special thanks to Dr. Arno Kitshoff, and to Dr. Wendy Johnson and Marnie Bennie HCN for your kind and considerate care of our father.
In lieu of flowers please donate to a charity of your choice.
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