Dental Graduates of 1964

Dental Year of 1964 Reunion

 

Johnnie Speake was the catalyst for our meeting in Solihull on September 5th last year. John, ex of the New Territories and the South Seas, now lives near Cairns in Oz and when he made contact by means of the new-fangled medium of e-mail that was the spur.

 

Sixteen of the original forty met, mostly with present wives and husbands (We predate ‘partners’) for an evening of genuine friendship, memories of the past, and catching up with the present. Unfortunately, Sandra Williams (Harvey) was ill on the day and couldn’t make it. It was wonderful to see how warmly everyone greeted old colleagues and friends, almost to the extent that it made one question just why we were so happy to meet again. Was it the simple memory of happy experiences shared, relief that we had somehow survived a rigorous training regime and a lifetime’s work, or merely gratitude that in our mid to late sixties most of us seemed fit enough to appear sprightly and able to enjoy a long convivial evening?

 

What of the missing twenty-four? Ian Knowles stepped down a year to pursue a BSc. He therefore qualified in 1965 and went on to become a respected practitioner in Warwick. Sadly five of the year have died to our knowledge and they were remembered by a short silence. Five members remain stubbornly impossible to contact, despite heroic attempts by Peter D. Seven sent apologies, all valid and accompanied by copious correspondence; Gordon Cox even included a contribution towards the evening’s celebrations. He is therefore forgiven for preferring to adhere to a wedding invitation. Nina Collins (Howard) and Dave Simons were in France (separately with respective spouses), whilst Tom Weinberger continues to live and practise orthodontics in Jerusalem. We also recalled the five colleagues who, as John Fulford used to say, failed to fool the examiners and were required to withdraw from the course. There was much speculation as to whether they would have enjoyed better or worse lives in consequence. The answer to this conundrum appeared to centre upon an individual’s experiences of working within the NHS for around forty years!

 

Peter Derrington and Peter Rock

Dental Year of 1964 Reunion

 

Johnnie Speake was the catalyst for our meeting in Solihull on September 5th last year. John, ex of the New Territories and the South Seas, now lives near Cairns in Oz and when he made contact by means of the new-fangled medium of e-mail that was the spur.

 

Sixteen of the original forty met, mostly with present wives and husbands (We predate ‘partners’) for an evening of genuine friendship, memories of the past, and catching up with the present. Unfortunately, Sandra Williams (Harvey) was ill on the day and couldn’t make it. It was wonderful to see how warmly everyone greeted old colleagues and friends, almost to the extent that it made one question just why we were so happy to meet again. Was it the simple memory of happy experiences shared, relief that we had somehow survived a rigorous training regime and a lifetime’s work, or merely gratitude that in our mid to late sixties most of us seemed fit enough to appear sprightly and able to enjoy a long convivial evening?

 

What of the missing twenty-four? Ian Knowles stepped down a year to pursue a BSc. He therefore qualified in 1965 and went on to become a respected practitioner in Warwick. Sadly five of the year have died to our knowledge and they were remembered by a short silence. Five members remain stubbornly impossible to contact, despite heroic attempts by Peter D. Seven sent apologies, all valid and accompanied by copious correspondence; Gordon Cox even included a contribution towards the evening’s celebrations. He is therefore forgiven for preferring to adhere to a wedding invitation. Nina Collins (Howard) and Dave Simons were in France (separately with respective spouses), whilst Tom Weinberger continues to live and practise orthodontics in Jerusalem. We also recalled the five colleagues who, as John Fulford used to say, failed to fool the examiners and were required to withdraw from the course. There was much speculation as to whether they would have enjoyed better or worse lives in consequence. The answer to this conundrum appeared to centre upon an individual’s experiences of working within the NHS for around forty years!

 

Peter Derrington and Peter Rock

 

50 year reunion class of 64

Peter Neal organised a 50-year reunion of his year with a special afternoon at the School of Dentistry.  The afternoon started with a tour of the building and lectures and then a session in the 8th Floor Clinical Skills Laboratory led by the dental instructors, Glyn Thomas and Martyn Baylis. Glynn found the year’s old Materials issue book which had records for every time students signed to have gold for a dental restoration. He even found some names in the ledger and for fun demanded financial outstanding payment for lost ounces! Glynn and Martin also put together some old equipment, porcelain and dentures etc., for a real trip down memory lane.

50 year reunion class of 64

Peter Neal organised a 50-year reunion of his year with a special afternoon at the School of Dentistry.  The afternoon started with a tour of the building and lectures and then a session in the 8th Floor Clinical Skills Laboratory led by the dental instructors, Glyn Thomas and Martyn Baylis. Glynn found the year’s old Materials issue book which had records for every time students signed to have gold for a dental restoration. He even found some names in the ledger and for fun demanded financial outstanding payment for lost ounces! Glynn and Martin also put together some old equipment, porcelain and dentures etc., for a real trip down memory lane.

 

50-year Reunion meeting of the Dental Graduates of 1964/65

 

Members of the last year of Dental Students to have completed their course at the Old Dental Hospital  in Great Charles Street met in Stratford-upon-Avon on 8th May to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their graduation.

 

15 of us, accompanied by spouses enjoyed an occasion, which could so easily have been an evening spent comparing the large number of hearing aids being worn! Instead, it turned out to be a happy occasion, as we rediscovered the young men and women hidden behind the septuagenarian faces.

 

The member who had come furthest to join us was John Speake, all the way from Australia.

 

As well as reminiscences of our years spent together, this was also a chance to catch up. Peter Derrington read out a letter from Tom Weinberger, the only member of the cohort still practising his profession, who had been planning to attend from Israel, but was prevented by the need to undergo chemotherapy. Peter Rock spoke entertainingly about developments at the Dental Hospital. He also remembered year-mates and staff no longer with us, and others who had vanished off the radar. Bob Somogyi read out a letter from Hilary Hanbury, who was unable to travel from Torquay. Richard Stagg demonstrated that fun can be had after dentistry by recounting his passion for acting as Fireman on the Welsh Highland Railway near Caernarfon. 

 

After the three-course dinner there was even some dancing, with Rich Bennett displaying a supple agility that most of us could only dream of.

 

Everybody agreed that it was not too fanciful to plan another reunion in three years’ time.

 

Bob Somogyi