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    Something in which I take pride is that, together with Priscilla Kincaid-Smith, I interviewed Martin for his position as Editor and recommended him for the job. To say that I was impressed would be an understatement. We have since worked together in great harmony.

    I have peer-reviewed, book-reviewed and authored for the Journal on dozens of occasions. He has not always taken my advice about articles I’ve reviewed (always politely, even if damning with faint praise – why offend the author/s unnecessarily?), he has not always published my adverse book reviews (something to do with libel laws), and he has not always published my articles and letters. Since the Journal’s introduction of the electronic “Editorial Manager”, my articles and letters have had a 66% publication rate. I didn’t challenge his decision about the others – in retrospect, he was probably right.

    He has had, around him, an excellent team of sub-editors, deputy editors and editorial staff. Their suggestions for improvement of my contributions have invariably been invaluable. Authors need to be modest about their writing. As an editor myself, what is so often crystal clear in the author’s mind has just not been translated into the written word and has no chance of being transferred into the mind of the reader. Martin warrants our compliments and our thanks for assembling such an excellent team at the MJA.

    I will miss his taciturn presence – his spoken sentences seldom consist of more than the subject, the verb and the object – albeit “in quotation marks”. Woe betide anyone who tries to engage him in a telephone conversation!

    My hope is that he has a well-deserved and healthy retirement, and that the Journal finds someone as independently-minded as Martin (and Richard Smith) to pick up the reins.

    Peter Arnold, Chairman of AMA Federal Council and Deputy Chairman of its Australasian Medical Publishing Company when Martin was appointed.


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