Dr. James “Lorne” Macarthur was born on the 12th of June, 1910 in St. Thomas (Elgin County) Ontario. He was the youngest of 2 children born to James Alfred Macarthur and the former Agnes Christina Engelgan. At the time of his birth his family resided at 120 Alma Street. Dr. Macarthur’s father was an electrician with St. Thomas Hydro and his older sister was Donna Mary Macarthur.
Dr. Macarthur graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1937. After completing his internship he set up his medical practice in Chatham.
Dr. Macarthur married Helen Winnifred Buckpitt in London, Ontario on the 19th of March, 1937. Mrs. Macarthur was born in St Thomas on the 11th of August, 1912, the daughter of Henry Wickham Buckpitt and the former Mary Rivard. Her father had previously been married to Ellen “Nellie” Marie Burgess. They had a daughter Marion Buckpitt who was born in Stratford on the 3rd of August, 1906 but she did not survive. Nellie (Burgess) Buckpitt died on the 23rd of August, 1906, just 20 days after the birth of baby Marion. Mrs. Buckpitt and her daughter were buried at the Avondale Cemetery in Stratford. Henry Buckpitt married Mary Rivard on the 24th of August, 1908. Mrs. Mary Buckpitt had previously been married to Frederick Edward Johnston. They had two children, Lila and Frank Johnston. Mr. Johnston died in 1902 and he was buried at the St. Thomas Cemetery. Henry Wickham Buckpitt was a locomotive engineer and the Buckpitt family resided at 45 Mitchell Street. Mrs. Macarthur had a younger sister named Mildren “Jean” Buckpitt. Prior to her marriage, Mrs. Macarthur was a bookkeeper.
Dr. and Mrs. Macarthur had two daughters while they were living in Chatham, Dorothy Jean Macarthur and Mary Joan Macarthur. Four more children were born after they moved to Montreal; Donna June Macarthur, Janet Lorraine Macarthur, Judith Ann Macarthur and James Dugald Macarthur.
Dr. Macarthur’s name appears on birth and death records in the 1930’s and the 1940’s. According to the 1941 Shepherds City of Chatham Business Directory, Dr. Macarthur’s medical office was located at 247 King Street West. and Dr. and Mrs. Macarthur resided at 154 Harvey Street.
Dr. Macarthur moved his family to Montreal in 1943. In 1949 Dr. and Mrs. Macarthur were residing at 654 Roslyn Ave., in Westmount, Quebec and Dr. Macarthur was practicing medicine in Montreal. According to the Canadian Medical Association Journal of February 1950 (Vol 62), Dr. Macarthur had been bestowed his Fellowship in Surgery.
Dr. Macarthur specialized in obstetrics and gynaecology. He was on staff at Montreal General Hospital and he did a term as Chief of Staff at Catherine-Booth Hospital (Montreal). Dr. Macarthur published articles in medical publications including the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He lectured at McGill University and he was a sought-after speaker at medical conventions around the world. Dr. Macarthur was a member of the Continental Gynecological Society.
Dr. Macarthur enjoyed reading on many subjects and he was particularly interested in the exploration of outer space. He watched every space launch and often searched the universe through his own telescope. Mrs. Macarthur enjoyed painting, pottery making and anything artistic. She was an accomplished knitter and she enjoyed doing crossword puzzles. Once her children reached adulthood, Mrs. Macarthur volunteered her time to assist seniors. Dr. and Mrs Macarthur and their family spent many years vacationing at their cottage in Quebec. His children said that he was “a weekend farmer and fisherman”. Further his children recall their father as a wonderful, caring man.
Dr. Macarthur died on the 22 of August, 1991. Mrs. Macarthur died at her residence in London, Ontario on the 16th of May, 2014. Dr. and Mrs. Macarthur were buried at the MacPherson Cemetery in Georgeville, Quebec.
*The webmaster is grateful to the Macarthur family for their assistance.