Llew Wheeler was born in South Strathfield, Sydney, on 23 October 1919. He was educated at Fort Street Boys’ High School, and began his medical course at the University of Sydney in 1939.
After graduating in 1943 and doing a period of residency at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH), he joined the Army and served within Australia. After the war he “marked time” medically for a few years, doing various jobs, including a locum in Bathurst.
Llew was Gordon Craig Fellow in Urology at RPAH from 1950 to 1953. In 1952, he acquired the postgraduate qualifications of Master of Surgery and Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He then went into specialist urological practice in Macquarie Street, Sydney, for a number of years. In 1956, he married Jacqueline, daughter of John Maude, an ophthalmologist. After the death of one of the practice partners, he entered solo urological practice at the new RPAH Medical Centre in Newtown in 1957. He became a Senior Urologist at RPAH and, finally, Head of Department.
Llew was Honorary Secretary (1955–1958) and President (1963–1964) of the Urological Society of Australia, and was Consultant Urologist to the Royal Australian Navy. He was a life member of the Australian Medical Association.
The only child of strict Presbyterian parents, Llew was himself deeply religious, but his feelings led him along a different path from that of his parents — he became a High Church Anglican. While still in active urological practice, he took up formal religious studies and obtained the degree of Bachelor of Divinity in 1978. A supporter of the movement to preserve the old Prayer Book, he became one of the founders of the Prayer Book Society in Australia, and was its NSW Chairman until the year 2000. He gave up specialist urological practice in 1979 to immerse himself in his religious and general interests, although he maintained some involvement in lower-key medical practice.
Llew was also an accomplished organist. He loved humanity and took on a pastoral role. He was frequently consulted by people with medical difficulties of all kinds and by a wide variety of “lame ducks”, whom he would refer to his medical friends to sort out.
The last years of his life were not easy. He had a resection of an upper gastric carcinoma in 1998 and knee surgery in 2001. He then fell victim to diffuse Lewy-body disease, becoming progressively and severely disabled.
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