Saturday, 24 December 2011

Benjamin Henry Sheares

Benjamin Henry Sheares, GCB (12 August 1907 – 12 May 1981), was the second President of Singapore for 11 years (3 terms). More at

Professor Benjamin Henry Sheares was elected the President of the Republic of Singapore on 30 December 1970. He succeeded the late President Yusof bin Ishak who died in Nov 1970.

Prof Sheares was born in Singapore on 12 August 1907. He was educated at St Andrews's School and Raffles Institution before joining the King Edward VII College of Medicine in 1923. Dr Sheares BH qualified with LMC degree in March 1929 (Morais 1972: i; Lee 2005: 113). 

LMC = Licentiate in Medicine and C___ for what? (a certificate or diploma?)

LMS = Licentiate in Medicine and Surgery ( a diploma and not a degree)

Morais JV. (1972). Who's Who in Singapore. page i
Lee JS. (2005). To Sail Uncharted Seas. page 113

In 1931 he began his career as on obstetrician and gynaecologist (O&G doctor). In 1940, he was awarded the Queen's Fellowship but could not go because of the Japanese war. The Queen's Fellowship was for 2 years postgraduate study.

During the Japanese Occupation of Singapore, he was HOD O&G, Kandang Kerbau Hospital. 

After the Japanese surrender, he was acting professor until May 1947 when he went to London. In London he passed as a MRCOG (Member of the Royal College of O&G) in January 1948.

In December 1951, he went to the US as part of the remainder of the Queen's Fellowship study leave and spent one year observing in-teaching in San Francisco, Chicago, St Luois, New York and Boston.

He was reading for the FRCS when he was recalled in March (when? 1949?) to act as professor. He became Professor of O&G, UM in Singapore in January 1950. Prof Sheares was the HOD O&G, UM in Singapore until June 1960.

He then entered into practice in June 1960. In July 1960, he was gazetted honorary consultant of Kandang Kerbau Hospital, Singapore.

Address since 30 Dec 1970: Istana Negara, Singapore.

He married Yeo Seh Geok, a migrant who came to Singapore in 1938. They have 3 children - Constance Alice Chengliu (born 1963; 27 in 1970, 68 in 2011) who holds a BA (Hons) in Fine Arts from London U and a MA degree from Singapore; Joseph Henry Hinggiam who hold the degrees of MA, MBCHB from Cambridge; and Edwin Charles Hingwee (21) then a 3rd-year student of liberal arts at Nottingham.

The above text is reproduced with modification for web browsing, based on The Who's Who in Singapore 1971-1972.

Prof Sheares was a colleague of another O&G doctor, Datuk Dr Ariffin bin Haji Ngah Marzuki (Perak).

Dr Ariffin meeting up with his Professor of O&G (Professor BH Sheares) at the International Rotary Meeting 1974-75, Singapore. Photograph courtesy of Datuk Dr Ariffin Ngah Marzuki. 

 Professor BH Sheares (12 Aug 1907-12 May 1981)
Professor of O&G
2nd Singapore President 30 Dec 1970-12 May 1981)

Prof Sheares had introduced the Sheares procedure for creating artificial vagina for those who did not have one, and which became necessary in transexual operations. Datuk Dr Ariffin introduced his own intrauterine device (IUD) when he worked in Ipoh. The IUD used a coil of nylon thread.


COLTORAS said...

Brig Jen Dato Dr Zahari bin Jusoh, doktor melayu pertama (mungkin) yang mempunyai kepakaran Aeromedical yang dinaikan ke pangkat Brig Jen. Beliau sekarang adalah Pengarah Institut Perubatan Penerbangan TUDM

COLTORAS said...

Dato' Seri Dr Sulaiman bin Abdullah, adalah Ketua Pengarah Perkhidmatan Kesihatan ATM (Melayu)yang pertama dinaikkan ke pangkat Leftenan Jeneral. Manakala Dato Dr Roshidah binti Ishak adalah wanita anak Melayu pertama dinakkan ke pangkat Brig Jen dalam ATM