In his life, Mitchell Notaras travelled a long way from his birthplace in rural
Australia and made his mark in medicine but he
never forgot his home in Grafton or his gratitude for his education at the . University of Sydney
He was proud to be Australian and never lost his Australian accent.
As a form of appreciation, he funded in perpetuity a scholarship in colorectal surgery through the
scholarships are to help aspiring Australian surgeons through three years of
colorectal clinical work, as well as sponsoring them for a year of work overseas. University
Mitchell James Notaras and his twin brother Angelo were born in Grafton on March 26, 1933, two of five children to Kytherian-Greek immigrant parents, Anthony and Ianthe (nee Megalokonomos). He was captain of Grafton Primary School, then went on to Grafton High School, where, along with his studies, he created a school newsletter by learning to type, then did the reporting, drew the comic strip and even managed to bring in a modest advertising revenue for the school. He was dux of the school when he did his Intermediate Certificate. He finished secondary school as a boarder at
College and at 16 entered the to study medicine with a
Commonwealth Government Scholarship. University of Sydney
He did his clinical undergraduate studies at
, then returned to the hospital
as a junior, then senior, medical officer. To gain experience abroad, he
travelled to Royal
Prince Alfred Hospital England as a
ship's surgeon on a cargo vessel and took work in . London
Notaras continued his studies while working at
. He obtained
fellowships of the Royal College of Surgeons of Hammersmith
and the Royal College of Surgeons of . He was also a senior
registrar and Medical Research Council fellow at St Mark's Hospital for
Colorectal Diseases in England London, and a senior
registrar in surgery at University College Hospital
in . London
In 1962, he married Dr Lorna McPhail, with whom he had three daughters. They separated in 1970.
He was also a fellow of the
of Surgeons and he held a number of consultant posts, including senior lecturer
and honorary consultant surgeon at University
was a consultant surgeon to the Italian Hospital London, St Luke's Hospital for
the Clergy, and Barnet and Edgware general hospitals. He was a recognised
teacher in surgery at the London , and visited
and lectured in 28 countries. His special interest was in colorectal surgery,
mesh repair of hernias, and rectal prolapse. He introduced lateral subcutaneous
internal anal sphincterotomy for anal fissure, now an established procedure. University
Notaras published in various surgical journals, and wrote chapters for a number of surgical textbooks, including Maingot's Textbook of Abdominal Surgery, Rob and Smith's Textbook of Operative Surgery, Nyhus's Textbook of Operative Surgery, Nyhus's Textbook of Abdominal Surgery (Spanish) and Surgical Clinics of North America.
He was a member of the editorial board of two journals, ColoProctology and Hernia.
Britain, Notaras was instrumental in establishing
a company, Abgene, which became a leader in Europe
in the manufacture of molecular biological reagents, plastic consumables and
instrumentation for life sciences. It also became involved in research, both
in-house and through collaborations with universities and industrial partners,
particularly in gene and DNA technology. Abgene was later bought by Apogent
Corporation, . USA
In 1981, following a divorce, Notaras married Bente Fasmer.
When Notaras retired he restored his grandfather's house in the
of Frilinianika, on the island of Kythera,
He also became involved with the Kytherian community there, helping to fund the
purchase of equipment needed by the local hospital and aged care facility. He
regularly travelled to Australia, including Grafton, where he, along with his
brothers Angelo and John, and cousin Spiro, restored the heritage-listed
Saraton theatre, originally built by his father and uncle in 1926. Greece
Notaras was a prodigious reader throughout his life, particularly in his retirement, and a great story teller.
Lorna McPhail predeceased him. Mitchell Notaras is survived by his daughters Fiona, Nicola and Lorna, from his first marriage, and wife, Bente ,and their sons Anthony and James, six grandchildren, and siblings Angelo, Irene, John and Betty.
Angelo and John Notaras