Don Beaven

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Sir Don Beaven
Don Beaven by Simon Baker NZ Herald.jpg
Born Donald Ward Beaven
(1924-08-31)31 August 1924
Christchurch, New Zealand
Died 4 November 2009(2009-11-04) (aged 85)
Little Akaloa, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
Education University of Otago Dunedin School of Medicine
Harvard Medical School[1]
Medical career
Research Diabetes

Sir Donald Ward Beaven KNZM CBE (31 August 1924 – 4 November 2009) was a New Zealand medical researcher in the area of diabetes treatment and prevention.[2]

He commenced full-time teaching and research at the Christchurch School of Medicine in 1960,[3] and was appointed Foundation Professor in 1971.[4] The Beaven Lecture Theatre in the School bears his name.

Beaven was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1989 New Year Honours for services to Medicine and the community,[5] and a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2005 New Year Honours for services to persons with diabetes.[6] He accepted re-designation as a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in August 2009 after the restoration of titular honours by the New Zealand government.[7] In March 2009, Beaven was commemorated as one of the Twelve Local Heroes, and a bronze bust of him was unveiled outside the Christchurch Arts Centre.[8]

An advocate of the Mediterranean diet, Beaven helped establish the South Island wine industry, planting vineyards and olive groves around Christchurch and Banks Peninsula.[1][2]

Beaven died fighting a house fire in his bach at Little Akaloa on Banks Peninsula.[9][10][11] A memorial service for Beaven held in the Christchurch Town Hall on 19 December 2009 was attended by nearly 1000 people.[12] At the memorial, the chair of the Health Research Council of New Zealand announced that the Emeritus Professor Sir Donald Ward Beaven Medal for Diabetes Research would be presented to the New Zealand researcher who makes the greatest contribution to diabetes research each year.[12]


  1. ^ a b Crean, Mike (7 November 2009). "A life most notable (Obituary)". The Press. Christchurch, New Zealand. 
  2. ^ a b Home, Elizabeth (June 2004). "A Canterbury Tale: This is your life, Don Beaven". Diabetes Voice. 49 (2): 42–44. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 May 2008. 
  3. ^ "University of Otago, Christchurch - History". University of Otago, Christchurch. Retrieved 5 November 2009. 
  4. ^ "Sir Don Beaven". University of Canterbury. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 5 November 2009. 
  5. ^ "No. 51580". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1988. p. 33. 
  6. ^ "New Year honours list 2005". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 2004. Retrieved 28 February 2015. 
  7. ^ "Special honours list 1 August 2009". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 1 August 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2015. 
  8. ^ Whyte, Mark (2009). Twelve Local Heroes: a celebration: set of bronze busts commissioned by the Local Heroes Trust. Christchurch: Christchurch Art Gallery / Te Puna o Waiwhetu. ISBN 978-0-473-14878-2. 
  9. ^ Steward, Ian (5 November 2009). "Sir Don Beaven feared dead after house fire". The Press. Christchurch, New Zealand. Retrieved 5 November 2009. 
  10. ^ "Renowned professor feared dead in fire". New Zealand Herald. Auckland, New Zealand. 5 November 2009. Retrieved 5 November 2009. 
  11. ^ "Renowned medical professor feared dead after Chch fire". New Zealand Herald. New Zealand. 5 November 2009. Retrieved 5 November 2009. 
  12. ^ a b Crean, Mike (19 December 2009). "Medal to honour work of diabetes expert". The Press. Christchurch, New Zealand. Retrieved 19 December 2009. 

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