Medical Graduates of 1959

1959 – 45 Year Reunion

 

The report of the 1959 – 40 Year Reunion ended by suggesting that Glenn Lambert be contacted in good time by 1959 Graduates with views as to the 45 year bash. Well, in February 2004 Glenn had several phone calls from several graduates who wanted a “50 years since we started Reunion”. As regards time and place, late Autumn and the same venue were the preferences voiced. The Renaissance Hotel Solihull (formerly St Johns Swallow Hotel) had looked after us very well in the past, so back we came. There was a good turnout on Saturday 13th November 2004 – 48 all told. We spent a very enjoyable evening. The only criticism – too many courses at dinner.

 

There had been an appeal during the year for donations towards the new Medical School Lecture Theatre. Some present had already donated, but all thought it a good idea to purchase and name a chair in the lecture theatre. There was an excellent response enough for two seats to carry a 1959 plaque.

 

The party finally broke up after midnight proof that the evening had been a success. All were in favour of holding future reunions with some suggesting more frequent get togethers than the traditional five yearly events. So 1959ers make your wishes known in good time.

 

Those attending were:

  • Phyllida Barnett (née Sampson)

  • Paul and June Bartlett (née Hunt)

  • John and Pam Bland

  • Brian and Sue Boughton

  • Andy and Lallie Cox (née Fooks)

  • Kel and Bozena Davies (née Leoszko)

  • Neil and Christine Dent

  • David Donaldson

  • Fred and Iris Farmer

  • Judith Finch

  • Mike and Anita Gilbert

  • David and Sheila Gompertz

  • Glenn and Audrey Lambert

  • Joyce Martin

  • John Morris

  • John and Gill Mucklow (née Mc Mullan)

  • Bob and Margaret Myers

  • Jeremy Parkinson

  • John and Janet Perrin (née Williams)

  • John and Brenda Perry

  • Roger Plimbley

  • Tony Revell

  • Alan and Caroline Rhodes

  • Paul and Liz Sadler

  • Rod and Leita Smethurst

  • Robin and Anne Tonge (née Schofield)

  • Sue Watkins (née Jones)

  • Romila Wooton (née Westwood)

  • Keith and Ivy Wright

 

Apologies received from:

John and Angela Hamer, Jenny Cruthers, Dick Baker, John Chapple, Tony Flarris, Robina Sealey, Barry Peach, Doug Fleming and Denzil Hathway.

 

50th Reunion Year of 1959

 

The rather dank autumnal weather that characterised the weekend of the 24th October 2009 did little to dampen the mood of the 40 or so alumni accompanied by wives and partners that assembled in Birmingham for their 50 year reunion. Those that lived locally and had not moved far from their alma mater over the years since graduation were able to stay in their own homes, but the majority made use of the excellent facilities provided by the University Conference Centre that comprises a collection of some delightful converted large houses and some newer buildings in Edgbaston Park Road.

 

The first night consisted of an informal reception and supper when the shared memories of those, mostly carefree, years some half century ago were aired. There were few ‘who on earth is that person with the beard’ recognition questions because we have had a number of reunions over the years and any changes were gradual – so the conversation flowed!

 

Saturday morning was taken up with a much anticipated visit to the Medical School. This proved to be a most interesting experience not the least because, although the basic buildings and features such as the corridor where Charlie Smout had his office and the stairs to the first floor and the dissecting room were immediately recognisable, there were so many changes and additions that we could easily have got lost had we not had the services of an excellent guide.

 

The highlight of the morning was an excellent talk which apparently has become a much appreciated feature of alumni reunions, and contains some fascinating statistics concerning the current admissions policy. Astonishing numbers of applicants apply each year for the 400 odd places on offer, all with exceptionally high qualifications, the majority of whom are women. Very different from the year of ’59 when there were only 100 places and some two dozen ladies, many of whom attended the reunion. We also learned that dissection of cadavers, which occupied us for a whole year, were no longer undertaken in the old “dissecting room”, because Health and Safety regulations did not allow modern students to inhale formalin fumes! Added to this it became apparent that one of the reasons for the closure of the QEH was the fact that it was riddled with asbestos – recalling in most of our minds the subterranean corridor leading to the canteen and hospital. After all this it seemed to many of us that we had been lucky to survive long enough to attend our 50th Reunion!

 

The student Chairman of the Medical Society also spoke and gave us an update on the work of the Society which had increased dramatically since our time. A guided tour of the Medical School, including the new buildings, completed the morning which was enjoyed by all.

 

Saturday afternoon allowed time for further visits to buildings on campus including the impressive Barber Institute, or to rest before the more formal dinner in the evening and more reminiscences.

 

It has become traditional for there to be no speeches at our reunions, but we did hear some letters and messages from colleagues who were unable to attend, and duly toasted these and other absent friends. Finally we thanked Glen and Audrey Lambert and Kel and Bozena Davies for organising yet another enjoyable event.

 

Anthony Revell

 

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