Seaman, Dr. Kal

Seaman, Dr. Killem (Kal)MDCM, CRCS(C), FRCS(C) 1915-2008
Dr. Killem (Kal) Seaman, retired Orthopedic Surgeon, practiced his specialty in the Saint John area beginning in 1953 and was the first orthopedic surgeon in the area, one of four in the entire province of New Brunswick. Dr. Seaman founded the New Brunswick Orthopedic Society and was also the founding member of the Atlantic Provinces Orthopedic Society. He served as Chief of Orthopedic Surgery in the Saint John area for many years.
Dr. Seaman was always active in the political life of the province, first elected to the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly on October 13, 1987 to represent King’s Centre constituency. In the 1991 provincial election, he did not re-offer. Dr. Seaman was among the first provincial Liberal representatives from King’s County to be elected in the previous 52 years.
Born in Liverpool, Nova Scotia on December 7, 1915, he was the son of the late Martha and John Seaman. He was an outstanding student while at Liverpool High School, and after graduating studied pre-medicine at Mount Allison University where he was a member of the school’s basketball team which won the Dominion of Canada Basketball Title. In 1942, he received his M.D.C.M. degree from the Dalhousie University Medical School, where he received the highest marks in Obstetrics and Gynecology ever achieved at that school. From 1942 to 1946 Dr. Seaman served in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Goosebay, Labrador, and Trenton, Ontario as a medical officer and surgeon with the R.C.A.F. achieving the rank of Flight Lieutenant. After the war Dr. Seaman began his medical practice with a locum in Sydney and Baddeck, Nova Scotia, the home of Alexander Graham Bell. Following this he briefly conducted a general practice in Kinsmen Corner, near Kentville, Nova Scotia, where he met his future wife Gertrude M. Clarke. He later did post-graduate work at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal. He began initially in an Anesthesia program but shortly after was invited to join the Orthopedic Program. Dr. Seaman was awarded Certification in Orthopedic Surgery and a fellowship in Orthopedic Surgery from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He was the first Orthopedic Surgeon trainee to graduate from the Royal Victoria Hospital Program.
As a former member of the Canadian Medical Association, Dr. Seaman was an honorary member of the New Brunswick Medical Society, the Saint John Medical Society, the Canadian Orthopedic Association, the New Brunswick Orthopedic Society, and the Atlantic Provinces' Orthopedic Society.
During his lengthy career Dr. Seaman served as mentor to many Orthopedic Residents, lectured medical students and nurses as regular speaker for students in training. Dr. Seaman authored several articles the latest being “Palliative Home Care” THE CHALLENGE. This work arose from Mrs. Seaman’s illness which occurred in 1994 and Dr. Seaman dedicated himself to the full-time task of caring for her in their home. As a result, he became active in medical advocacy. This report was written from the life experiences Dr. Seaman had witnessed during his career and caring for Trudi gave him the inspiration to research and write this paper. He considered palliative home care to be a critical issue for both the federal and provincial governments and presented this to the government of the day in 2004. Mrs. Seaman passed away in January 2007. Dr. Seaman was very active in continuing to persuade government to do the right thing in the delivery of health care where “people come first”.
During his lifetime he was active in community affairs. Dr. Seaman was the founding President of the Greenwich Community Project Committee. This program provided information to the public, including such topics as first aid, estate planning, flowers and shrub arrangements along with many other topics useful to the public. He was also a member of the Health Care Subcommittee of the New Brunswick Medical Society, and a member of the Board of Directors of Crime Stoppers. Dr. Seaman was a member of the Health Services Advisory Committee of New Brunswick at the request of then Health Minister Brenda Robertson, now Senator for New Brunswick. Dr. Seaman chaired a committee that reviewed the prescription drug program for the Province of New Brunswick, that Dr. Seaman felt warranted further consideration.
Dr. Seaman proposed that the New Brunswick Medical Society establish a division of gerontology to solely look after the affairs of seniors. This division was created and he served as a member for many years. Dr Seaman was a supporter of Ducks Unlimited Canada, Canadian Wildlife Federation, Atlantic Salmon Federation and the Red Cross, always expressing a keen interest in protecting and conserving the environment.
Dr. Seaman, who was a well known sports figure, was inducted with three of his brothers into the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame in1981. They were members of the Legendary Liverpool Larrupers Baseball Club which won the 1939 and 1940 Maritime Baseball Championships in which Dr. Seaman was captain of the team. In his youth three professional baseball teams, including the Boston Red Sox, offered contracts for Dr. Seaman to play for them, only to have his father tear them up
He also won the Maritime Championships in both trap and skeet shooting. Kal and Trudi were noted duck and goose hunters. He was a member of both the Riverside and Westfield Country Clubs.
In 2004 Dr. Seaman was award the Dr. William F. Roberts, Political Action Award. The award was established by the New Brunswick Medical Society to recognize those members who have made a commitment to public service through election to either the Provincial Legislature or the Federal House of Commons. Dr. Seaman also received recognition from the Queen for his dedicated community services.
Dr. Seaman continued to bring issues and interests forward for all New Brunswickers as he did in his medical practice and as a representative of the government of New Brunswick under Premier Frank McKenna. Dr. Seaman’s latest effort was to bring a private church group (Beulah) and the government’s together working toward a solution for a major environmental project at the church camp ground in Browns Flat.
Dr. Seaman passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 2, 2008 in the Saint John Regional Hospital, at the age of 92 years young. He is survived by two sons, Gavin (Colleen) of Hampton, and Greg (Charlene) of Grand Bay-Westfield; grandchildren Stephen, Jonathan, Shelley, Kayleen, Keiran, and Martha Jane; sisters Jean Simano of Connecticut and Ruth Keiffer of Pompano Beach, Florida; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wife of 59 years, Gertrude (Trudi) M. (Clarke) Seaman; brothers Prince, Isaac, Garneau, Danny, and Foch; and sisters Eva Malyk and Dorothy Rawding.
He is buried in the Brown’s Flat Baptist Cemetery, Saint John, New Brunswick.
Message on death of Killem (Kal) Seaman
The following statement on the death of former MLA Killem (Kal) Seaman was issued (08/03/03) by Energy Minister Jack Keir, on behalf of the New Brunswick government.
"I was saddened today to learn of the passing of Dr. Kal Seaman, who proudly served as MLA for Kings Centre under former Premier Frank McKenna. A sportsman and community leader throughout his life, Kal was a true gentleman who worked tirelessly for his patients, his constituents and his community.
"Kal was born in Liverpool, N.S., and attended Mount Allison University and Dalhousie Medical School. He served as a medical officer and surgeon in the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1942 to 1946. Returning to civilian life, he went into general practice near Kentville, N.S. After training in orthopedic surgery in Montreal, he came to Saint John as an orthopedic surgeon in 1953. He served as chief of orthopedic surgery for the Saint John region, was a founding member of both the New Brunswick and the Atlantic Provinces Orthopaedic associations, and was recognized as a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He retired from medical practice in 1985.
"In addition to his love of medicine, he was also a sportsman who was inducted into the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame in 1981, as a baseball player in his native Liverpool. He also played on a Dominion-title-winning basketball team while at Mount Allison, and was an avid golfer.
"Dr. Seaman decided to put his name forward to represent the people of Kings Centre, winning the 1987 election and serving for one term.
"In 1994, his beloved wife Trudy was struck ill, and Dr. Seaman dedicated himself to the full-time task of caring for her in their home. He became active as a passionate advocate for improving palliative home-care services, and advocated for better home care for the critically ill at both the federal and provincial levels. Dr. Seaman was predeceased by his wife in 2007.
"On behalf of all New Brunswickers, I offer my sincere condolences to the family of Kal Seaman and to his many friends, patients and former colleagues. He was a great and caring man who did so much for our province. He will be missed by all who knew him."

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