Biography of George Johnston
Dr George Johnston, 1941
George Johnston first matriculated at the University of Glasgow in 1935 to study science 'in view of BSc and MB ChB'. He achieved these goals, graduating BSc in 1938 and MB ChB in 1941.
Johnston was a talented and dedicated rower: he was awarded Full Blues in 1938; and quotations about him in the 1941 medical graduates' final-year dinner book refer to his sporting activity. His competitive spirit continued throughout his life and at the age of 72 he competed at the World Masters championships.
Johnston pursued a career in respiratory medicine, becoming a consultant and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, and was involved in the mass-radiography campaign in postwar Scotland which helped to eliminate tuberculosis.
Johnston served as a coach and team manager on several occasions: at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff Johnston served as coach to the Scottish rowers; in Edinburgh in 1970, he was the general manager of the entire Scotland team; and in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1974 and Edmonton, Canada, in 1978 he was Team Scotland's medical officer. By 1981 he was the honorary Medical Adviser to the Commonwealth Games Council for Scotland.
Johnston was an esteemed figure in the Scottish rowing community and was known to many as 'Doc George'. After rowing at University, he became an umpire and then trained umpires and officials. He held various positions within the national governing body, the Scottish Amateur Rowing Association, and was its president in the mid-1960s. For half a century he was president of Glasgow University Boat Club; and at the time of his death was vice-president of Glasgow Rowing Club.