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Bage, Charles (1859–1930)

Charles Bage, by Walter Barnett, c1904

Charles Bage, by Walter Barnett, c1904

State Library of Victoria, 49386682

His many friends will learn with regret that Dr. Charles Bage, who had been associated with the medical and artistic life of Melbourne for many years died suddenly at his home in Kensington road, South Yarra, yesterday afternoon. He was aged 71 years.

Dr Bage was born at Colac on October 7, 1859. He was the youngest and the last surviving of the four sons of the late Mr Edward Bage, civil engineer, who arrived in Melbourne by the steamer Great Britain from England on October 18, 1853. Entering the Melbourne Grammar School in 1869, he showed great promise, and was prefect and head of the school in his last year there—1876. In addition to his proficiency in his studies he was very fond of sport, and he was a leading member of the school football and athletic teams. For the remainder of his life he took a keen interest in his old school. He became president of the Old Melbournians in 1902, and was a member of the school council from 1902. From 1877 to 1881 Dr. Bage studied medicine at the Melbourne University, graduating M.B., Ch.B. in 1881, and obtaining the degree of doctor of medicine in 1884. Pursuing his academic studies, he graduated master of arts in 1887. After obtaining his medical degree Dr Bage spent a year as a resident at the Melbourne Hospital, and he then commenced private practice at South Yarra, where he remained until 1923. In that year he restricted his professional activities to those of a consultant in Collins street. Two years later he retired altogether from the practice of medicine.

During his medical career Dr Bage occupied many positions of honour in the profession. He was honorary surgeon to outpatients at the Melbourne Hospital from 1885 to 1886, honorary physician to outpatients from (1887-8) and honorary physician to in-patients in 1889. He then retired from the hospital and travelled abroad. His wide medical knowledge was also availed of by the Melbourne University. He was co-examiner in the theory and practice of medicine from 1911 to 1913, co-examiner in materia medica and pharmacy in 1923, acting lecturer in therapeutics and hygiene 1915-17, lecturer in therapeutics in 1917, 1919 and examiner in public health in 1918. From its inception he was a member of the University standing committee of convocation.

Apart from the practice of his profession, Dr Bage took part in many public activities. He was a member of the Felton Bequest committee from its inception in 1904, and had been chairman since 1919. A few years ago he published Historical Record of the Felton Bequest. He was several times president of the St John’s Ambulance Association, and was a member of the council of the Victorian centre from 1899, and member of the central council from its inception in 1925. He was made honorary associate of the Order of St John in 1919, an officer in 1926, and commander in 1929. From the inception of the Victorian Civil Ambulance, he was a member of the council, but retired in 1928. Always keenly interested in public health, he was a member of the council of the Australian Health Society from 1904 and had been president since 1927. He was honorary treasurer of the Health Association of Australasia and chairman of its executive from 1923 to 1925. Dr Bage took an active interest in the Australian Red Cross Society, particularly during the war, and for a long period occupied important positions. He was a member of the central council from 1915, and also of the council of the Victorian division. During the whole of its existence, from 1915 to 1919, he was chairman of the Red Cross Rest Home No. 1 committee, and chairman of the Red Cross V.A.D. committee from 1915. In 1926, and again in 1928, he was acting chairman of the executive of the Victorian division. Dr Bage took great interest in the Church of England, and was a member of the ? at his death, a member of the Melbourne Diocesan Synod and vestryman of Christ Church, South Yarra.

Dr Bage leaves a widow and two daughters – Mrs Heaton Clark and Miss Bage. Miss Freda Bage, principal of the Women’s College, Brisbane is a niece. His funeral will leave Christ Church, South Yarra at 3 o’clock tomorrow afternoon for the St Kilda Cemetery.

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Citation details

'Bage, Charles (1859–1930)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/bage-charles-15676/text26874, accessed 13 December 2017.

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