Dr. James P. McInerney was born in Saint John, NB on November 18, 1903, the son of Dr. James Paterson McInerney. He was also the grandson of one of the early pioneers of Medicine in the area, Dr. Boyle Travers, who himself practiced in Saint John for 63 years. A graduate of Saint John High School, he first attended the University of Edinburgh, graduating from McGill University with the degree of MD, CM in 1929. He received the William Osler prize as “the graduate who, in the opinion of the Faculty, is most fitted to practice Medicine”. He served in World War II as Lieutenant Colonel of a Medical Corps in the First Canadian Division. His service took him to the California desert, London during the Blitzkreig, and France after the evacuation at Dunkirk. After the war, he became a surgeon and family physician who was widely known and respected in the community with a career spanning over fifty years.
Dr. McInerney or “Bud,” as many knew him, was also a skilled athlete, excelling in hockey, rugby, tennis and golf. He played several sports at the University level during his time at McGill. He held posts chairing the Department of Surgery at The Saint John General Hospital, and as Chief of Staff at St. Joseph’s Hospital as well as chairing St. Joseph’s Board of Directors. St. Joseph’s honoured him at a dinner in 1983, the first event of the newly formed St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation. Active in his profession, he became President of The New Brunswick Medical Society in 1970, at a significant point in the Province’s history as Medicare was introduced. Dr. McInerney served on the Medical Assessment Advisory Committee of the NB Department of Health, The New Brunswick Medical Council and the Medical Council of Canada.
Community affairs were also a priority with him contributing substantially to The Canadian Red Cross Society, being honoured as a life member. He was a member of the Saint John Board of School Trustees for many years later becoming the first Chairman of District 20. In recognition of exceptional community and professional service he was awarded the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal and conferred a Honourary Doctorate from St. Thomas University.
Anita McInerney was a native of London, Ontario. She received post-secondary training at St. Joseph’s Hospital there and became a laboratory technologist. Prior to her marriage, she was Chief Lab Technologist at the Toronto General. After their marriage in Toronto 1956, the McInerneys settled on Mecklenburg St. in Saint John’s South End and became very active and interested in community life. Their home parish was St. John the Baptist for many years.
Mrs. McInerney excelled as an athlete as well. She was a member of the Provincial Championship curling team from The St. Andrew’s Curling Club. She also served as President of The Ladies Section of The Union Club and continued to be an active and beloved member of Riverside Golf and Country Club for many years, having served as Ladies President. Her mother Blanche (Girardot) Aust set a wonderful example as a church volunteer.
In 2005, Anita McInerney established The Dr. J.P. and Anita McInerney Family Fund with The Greater Saint John Community Foundation in Dr. McInerney’s memory and to recognize his accomplishments and many contributions to the Saint John community. Income from the fund will provide grants to health, education and social service charities.
Mrs. McInerney passed away in September 2011 in Sioux City, Iowa. She leaves behind her daughter Elizabeth, son in law Mark Johnston and three grand children, James, David and Emily.
Elizabeth followed in her father’s footsteps to the medical profession becoming a family physician and resides in Iowa with her family. Dr. Elizabeth McInerney has established the Dr. J.P. and Anita McInerney Medical School Scholarship with Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick.