Medical Graduates of 1964
40th Year Reunion – 1964 Graduates
We, 1964/65 Birmingham Medical Graduates, once again held our five-yearly Reunion gathering in the Cotswolds over the weekend of 29th-31st October 2004 at the Three Ways House hotel in Mickelton (near Chipping Campden); the famous Pudding Club meeting venue. The hotel took pride in providing a very friendly service in a comfortable environment and ambient atmosphere with excellent catering, bar and room service for the reminiscence reunion attendees to relax, renew friendship and generally enjoy themselves; which they certainly did and justified the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of David Boobyer, Mike Mathews and Kishore Shah’s decision of the venue away from Birmingham. We have met in Birmingham before and the last time was in 1994 at the 30th year reunion, when we attended the Arthur Thomson Trust sponsored Faculty dinner. Perhaps we should come back in five years time to view all the exciting developments currently taking place at the Medical School. Although the weather over the U.K. prior to the weekend was very wintry with continuous cold rain and grey clouds; we were lucky to have had a dry, generally sunny and warm weekend.
Most arrived on Friday afternoon and soon settled down with the help of a few jars, plenty of chatter and delicious informal dinner and the Pudding Club experience, i.e. ‘healthy’ helpings of different types of puddings with plenty of custard and chocolate sauces!!! As is the usual custom of our group this was followed by the late bar opening. On Saturday morning, after a lazy breakfast, we held an informal Graduates Meeting; on this occasion more to recount than reminisce our lives over the past 40 years, most U.K. residing graduates having now retired from their clinical practices. At the beginning of the meeting we stood in silence in the memories of those in our year who have passed away in the past 40 years – David Owen, Derek Hoddy, Leon Winslow and Lewis Coulton.
Chris Williams kept the ‘record’ and his account follows: Tim Crawshaw was specially welcomed and invited to open the session, as this was his first reunion attendance in 40 years!! He described himself as a somewhat reluctant speaker but enthralled us all for 30 minutes with a very open, honest and moving account of his life after qualifying. After his house jobs in Hereford and a short period of general practice in Kington (Hereford); in 1975 Tim emigrated to Canada where he went into General Practice in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan. He gave a vivid account of life in a small Canadian town, hard work with one in two duty rota and the heartaches of two divorces (two wives present in the audience!!). Tim is now happily remarried for the third time, working hard and trying to earn an honest crust. Tim was still the Tim we knew 40 years ago, but it was noticed that he had given up the Gauloises cigarettes and forsaken the gold pocket watch and chain.
Roger Rose described his life in St Catherines, Ontario, Canada and spoke of his love of wine and his two daughters – ladies at the reunion could not stop wondering/observing how young he looked for his age and how well he was ‘kept’ young by his beautiful young second wife!!
David Boobyer recounted his meeting up with Les Brown in Sydney three years ago. Les had set up a very successful private medical insurance examination service and was living in a magnificent house, loved his golf and wine. During his trip to Australia Dave also met Colin Lewis who was still working hard as a radiologist in Caines (split up from his wife whom we meet at our 25th year reunion at Stratford-upon-Avon). David has now retired as a consultant anaesthetist at Coventry.
Charles George (Sir Charles) gave an account of his work as the Medical Director of the British Heart Foundation, from which he is soon to retire, but is still carrying on being a leader in various medical fields; currently being the President of the British Medical Association (BMA).
Graham Housam happily admitted that he had given up everything!! He went on to give an interesting account of a piece of research into a military grave in the church of a lunatic asylum where he used to give ECT anaesthesia. His research revealed that this noble military officer had died of tertiary syphilis which if disclosed would have presented an ethical dilemma for the military establishment. Graham thought discretion on this occasion was the better part of valour.
John Siddorn followed up Graham’s military story of how he treated an old soldier with empyema in Kidderminster DGH in 1984.
Kishore Shah, retired consultant paediatric radiologist at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, described his life time achievement of an expeditionary cruise to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands islands. Although it was a very long way to go and the seas were pretty rough (especially the Drakes Passage and the Cape of Horn), it was a life time experience which he greatly enjoyed. In the majesty of vast, snow-capped, clean (pollution-free), healthy and peaceful land mass and environment; the human-being is entirely un-important and completely ignored by the ‘residents’ of the continent (penguins, albatrosses, whales, seals, etc., etc.) – an unusual but welcome eye-opening experience for all visitors!!
Ian Buchan, explained that it was the TV character Dr Cameron that influenced him to carry on as a GP on islands of Yell and Fetlar in Shetlands on part-time basis of every two to three weeks duty-rota. He said the life being very different from high-tec GP practice in Livingstone (Scotland) he recently retired from; but it was very enjoyable, although little scary at times (medical emergencies).
Nola Webster described one of her cases in 37-year career as a GP. This was a case of lemon and twig tea induced vertigo. She made the diagnosis after drinking a cup of the offending portion prepared by the vertiginous patient which resulted in Nola being legless the following day!!
Alan Veness, retired consultant anaesthetist at City Hospital (Dudley Road Hospital), dryly announced that he had nothing of interest to report!
Roger Hillman described his transformation from being a busy GP in Swindon to a retired miserable old git, i.e. ambivalence to retirement as missing work but not wanting to do it. He went on to recount two personal experiences which highlighted the best and the worst of the NHS.
Mike Genton, now a retired GP in Bruton, marvelled at the wonderful cider drinking domino playing Somerset characters that made up his practice.
Chris Williams, who has now kept the records of the Graduates Meetings on two occasions, made no notes of his own talk and now cannot recall what exactly he said (and neither does his wife Sandy nor Hillary or Richard Lanes – according to Chris!!); so probably it was not interesting or memorable, but Ian Buchan thinks that it was, possibly, all about his frequent retreats/escapades to France (Kishore Shah does not recall anything either but then he was only chairing the session!!!).
Towards the end of the meeting there was a general discussion on the format and timings of future reunions. It was agreed to try to have more frequent reunion gatherings than current five yearly programme and to travel around U.K. and perhaps even abroad. The next reunion is likely to be in Scotland in Spring/Summer of 2007.
After the meeting most went on to a country ramble organised and lead by Mike Mathews; had good walk and enjoyable pub lunch helped by quite a few jars of beer. Saturday evening Gala Dinner was a formal affair with black tie and evening dresses; usual reception bubbly and 49 graduates and their spouse/partners set down to a delicious meal and agreeable wines. They had a very jolly and lively evening; and again, as is our group’s tradition, there were no guest speakers or speeches. After the loyal toast they raised their glasses to the health of the Medical School, absent friends and to each other. The merriment continued late in the night. Sunday morning leisurely late and extended breakfast lead to settling of hotel bills, exchange of addresses (email), goodbyes (and agreement to meet again) and, sadly, gradual departure home.
By all accounts it was once again a very enjoyable relaxing reunion weekend and everyone was much appreciative of the efforts put in by the LOC. Special thanks are extended to Sue Mathews and Jackie Boobyer for their hard work in making this a successful reunion gathering. Once again we had good attendance from Canada – Suru Chande, Tim Crawshaw, Roger Rose and Pamy Sira; but, alas, on this occasion none from Australia. Bob Alan, Sam Appiah and Alan Plant had registered for the reunion but at the end, for various reasons, could not attend. Apologies were received from Les Brown, Malcolm Cochrane, Phil Hasleton, Bryan Pepper, Pamela Rowe, Tony Sears, David South and Bob Wilkins. We missed them all and hope that they will be able to attend the next reunion. As happened previously rest of the year did not even acknowledge our communication!! We respect their choice and extend our best wishes.
The photographs record various activities of the weekend and an attempt is made to show every attendee graduate at least once in one of these photographs. Once again for the group photograph not every graduate could manage to look straight to the camera at the same time, even for a few seconds, and not obscuring someone else!! Once again ultimately these and other photographs of the reunion weekend will be put into the album we have started. Shirley Field has produce an excellent CD of the digital photos she took; we shall play them back at our next reunion.
List of those who attended the reunion (with the spouse/partner in the bracket): David Boobyer (Jackie Boobyer), Judith Brown, Ian Buchan (Gwen Buchan), Suru Chande, (Rita Coulton, widow of Lew Coulton, was invited to the dinner), Joanne Crawshaw [née Curry] (Robert Terry), Tim Crawshaw (Doreen Kohls), Ken Edginton (Heather Edginton), Shirley Field [née Rowley], Gabrielle Geddes [née Carolan], Mike Genton (Pam Genton), Charles George, David Heath (Eileen Heath), Liz Heitzman [née Bingham] (Ray Heitzman), Roger Hillman (Liz Hillman), Graham Housam, Hillary Lane [née Dodd] (Richard Lane), Mike Mathews (Sue Mathews), Chris Pourgourides, Joy Roscoe [née Ashby], Roger Rose (Mrs Rose), Kishore Shah (Noreen Shah), John Siddorn (Carol Siddorn), Pamy Sira, Chad Smith (Jo Smith), Chris Stretton (Jacqui Stretton), Yvonne Tate [née Binge], Alan Veness (Val Veness), Nola Webster, Chris Williams (Sandy Williams).
If you want to join us at our next reunion please contact us at the Sands Cox Charity for more information.
1964 – 42.5 Year Reunion
At our 40th year Reunion in October 2004 we had decided to meet more frequently than the 5 yearly cycle we had been following up to now and so we, 1964 Birmingham Medical Graduates, held our 42.5 year graduation reunion over the week-end of 25th-27th May 2007. On this occasion, at the invitation of Ian Buchan and for the first time, we held it in Scotland at the Marriott Dalmahoy Hotel and Country Club at the foot of the Pentland Hills looking out across a thousand acres of woodland countryside and river estuary; giving a peaceful and secluded atmosphere, and being only 7 miles from the City of Edinburgh. Ian had negotiated an excellent week-end deal at this Country Club with superb dining, conference and leisure facilities, championship golf courses, access to excellent country walks and traditional Scottish outdoor sports. This provided an ideal environment for the reminiscent reunion attendees to relax, renew friendship and generally enjoy themselves; which they certainly did and justified the Organising Committee’s (Ian Buchan, Suru Chande and Kishore Shah) decision of the venue away from Birmingham. Fortunately the weather over the week-end was kind to us – generally dry, sunny and relatively warm.
Most arrived on Friday midday onwards and soon settled down, perhaps with the help of a jar or two, plenty of chatter and in the evening an informal relaxed dinner with wines. As expected after the dinner beer flowed and drinking continued late in the night with still plenty of laughter, chatter and ‘unbelievable’ stories being repeated again and again!! On Saturday morning we held our customary Graduates Meeting and stood in silence in the fond memories of those in our year who had passed away (R.I.P.) – Tony Sears (2007), Austin Tate (2006), Alex Eneli (2005), Lewis Coulton (2004), John Woodman (2001) and previously David Owen, Derek Hoddy and Leon Winslow.
On this occasion David Williams took up the pen and kept records of the proceedings as:
David South continues in part time radiological practise in Worcester. He recalled his meetings with Tony Sears shortly before he died and with Bruce Roscoe who is now fully recovered after surgery. His activities are many and varied including sailing, flying with a pilot’s licence and car rallying. He recalled an incident when Bob Allen and Austin Tate were the nervous navigators in the car he was rallying but found the pace too hot, preferring to keep their lunch in situ!!
Nola Webster is now working in Jersey and told us that she is totally happy and unstressed in her work. She is able to give as much time as is necessary to her patients and is not confined to the clock. Patients pay as they leave so tend not to come in for trivia. She felt this to be a good model for the NHS. She is an enthusiastic dinghy sailor in her spare time.
Graham Housam started by saying that he was doing very little having retired three years ago. However, he then went on to outline an impressive list of activities, including travelling to Cyprus to sort out some military medical administrative problems and a recent trip to Normandy when he visited the graveyard of a celebrated army dog. He is now back to full health having been through an alarming illness culminating in surgery which he characteristically described in graphic detail!
Liz Heitzman (née Bingham) has been retired for 3 to 4 years. Having promised herself that after finals she would take no more exams, she is now nearly through an embroidery course with finals in June. This involves soldering irons, heat guns, dismantling machinery, etc and not just cushions and crochet work. Perhaps this is a substitute for her earlier aspirations to do orthopaedics. She passed round a demonstration piece which was a beautifully detailed example of her work.
Chris Stretton told us that he had been out to Nicaragua three times since the last reunion. This is the poorest country in the Americas with virtually no medical facilities. The work is funded by a mission charity and staffed during 3 weekly visits. The workers are multidisciplinary and he outlined exciting further development with the charity arm of the Nuffield organisation to provide hovercraft and mobile facilities to deliver care to at present inaccessible regions.
Charles George (Sir Charles) continues to be active in the higher echelons of administrative medicine and has chaired boards on Science and Education producing important documents on domestic violence, and alcohol and pregnancy. He acts as non-executive director of the BMJ publishing group responsible for 21 successful journals and is chairman of a number of charitable organisations.
Judith Brown, OBE, proudly announced that she now has nothing to do with medicine at all!! She enjoys her relaxing life in North Yorkshire, reassured by the Ripon horn blower trumpeting at 9.00 each evening that all is well. Her diary is full with such activities as tennis (watching and playing), cricket (watching), archaeology, bridge and the delights of the countryside generally. Last year she spent an enjoyable period touring Canada.
Tim Crawshaw promised not to speak for 30 minutes as he had been reported as doing last time. He is nominally retired but still finds himself working. However, with his office closed and no need to find locums, he is now enjoying the freedom and travelling is easier. Everyone was delighted to learn that he has recently successfully completed the 3 various surgical procedures required for his retinal detachment and can now see the grass grow!
Roger Rose remains in active family practise in a prosperous wine growing area in Ontario producing sweet and desert wines (the vineyards not Roger!). Since many doctors are approaching retirement, an earlier reduction in medical school intake has resulted in a relative paucity of doctors. As a result, those in practise are both appreciated and better paid. He represents colleagues on family doctor councils.
David Boobyer passed on a message from Les Brown expressing his regret that he could not attend and wishing everyone well.
Alan Veness enjoys complete retirement, certainly not missing the work but possibly some of the people. David South’s account of rallying brought back some memories when he was navigating for Ken Edginton, an experience that he agreed was potentially emetic.
David Williams retired from his post as Consultant Cardiologist in Newcastle upon Tyne about 12 months ago. He extolled the virtues of the North East, both its geography and its people. His only medical involvement now is being the Senior Racecourse Medical Officer at Newcastle. To give an example of typical local humour, he concluded with a story about an idiosyncratic Geordie cuckoo clock which cannot possibly be reproduced here in print.
Kishore Shah concluded by recalling an international radiology meeting that he attended in Colorado when he was required to share a room with a colleague. The room was enormous with two huge double beds. A domestic knocked on the door and asked them both if he could prepare the sleeping arrangements. He turned down one bed and made to leave. Furtive and anxious glances were exchanged. He did however then return to prepare the other!
During the meeting some concern was raised about the welfare of John Knox Matthews; having lost the contact with him over the last few years.
Post script. Kishore is happy to report that Knox is still residing in Botswana enjoying retired life with grandparenting and cattle farming. He is now in his late 70s, a little infirm but generally in good health. In Nov ’07 Judith Brown, during her visit to Southern Africa, took an opportunity to meet up with Knox at the Gaborone airport (Botswana) – they had 2 hours of good chat about everyone in the year. Judith reports that all is well – what a pleasurable relief!!!
We had intended to show 40th year reunion photos prepared on a CD by Shirley Field and Joanne Crawshaw (neither of them could attend the Reunion on this occasion); but due to technical problems it was not possible to do so. Subsequently Kishore (following prompting and encouragement from Alan Veness) has produced a comprehensive CD of both 2007 and 2004 reunions photos supplied by above two and Jaquie Boobyer, Suru Chande, David South and Alan Veness. A copy each of this CD has been sent to all 2007 attendees and to others who have requested it and have paid the cost of the production, packing and postage!! The CD has been enjoyed and much appreciated by all. Photo albums of previous reunions, circulated at the meeting and over the week-end, were also enjoyed by all and one just wonders how each of us has managed to stay so young!!!
Malcolm Cockrane, as is customary of him to be always late for everything important, did not attend the meeting and turned up at the reception!! He was ‘allowed’ to address the group at the dinner in the evening. He extolled enthusiastically about his research into the aircraft diesel engines, but only to be ‘brought to ground’ by a comment from David South that in his club there are already two flying aircrafts with diesel engines!!
Ian Buchan reminded us that he continues to enjoy part-time GP activities in Shetland. He then gave us a brief description of the various activities that were available to the delegates during the coach trip that he had arranged to Edinburgh. He lead a walk along the Royal Mile and then a climb to the Arthur’s Seat; others pursued different activities in small groups, viz., some visited Scottish Parliament and had a guided tour (impressive building), some went to the botanical garden or churches; while a few just became tourists and the rest were contended with just shopping!!
On Saturday evening we held a Champagne Reception and Gala Dinner at the Hotel – a formal affair with black tie and evening dresses; but, as is usual at our gatherings, there were no guest speakers and no speeches. 31 graduates and their spouse/partners sat down to a delicious meal and very agreeable wines. After the loyal toast glasses were raised to the health of the Birmingham Medical School, absent friends and to each other. It was a very jolly and lively evening.
Sunday morning leisurely breakfast lead to settling of hotel bills, exchange of addresses, general agreement and promise to meet again, goodbyes and, sadly, gradual departure home or to extended holidays in Scotland.
By all accounts it was once again a very enjoyable relaxing reunion week-end and everyone was thankful and much appreciative of all the efforts put in by Ian Buchan to make the reunion a great success. On this occasion the numbers were down partly because of English half-term break coinciding with the Reunion week-end; and this ‘excuse’ (grand-parenting duties, holidays, etc.!!!) was put forward by some of the regular reunion attendees for their absence on this occasion. We had received numerous phone calls, emails, etc. conveying apology for non-attendance and good wishes to the Year with a promise to attend next time. While others once again did not respond to our circular of the reunion, which we always send to every graduate in the year with the hope that they may make an extra effort to stay in contact with the Year – we can only hope as that is their choice.
2009 will mark 50 years of start of our MBChB course (October 1959 – meeting/facing Charlie Smout for the first time!!! – Malcolm was late for that too!!) and 45 years of the graduation. Thus we have decided to hold the next Reunion in the autumn of 2009 in Birmingham – the venue and dates to be announced in due course (Kishore Shah being the convenor) – and to view many exciting recent developments taking place at the Medical School and the University and also the New University Hospital at the QEH site (currently under construction and hopefully due for completion by 2008-2009). Hope everyone in the Year will make an extra effort to attend this special Reunion.
If you want to join us at our next reunion please contact us at the Sands Cox Charity for more information.
1964 – 45 Year Reunion
2009 was a special year for the medical Class of 1959-1964, as it marked 50 years since the start of our MBChB undergraduate course in 1959 and graduation in 1964. In celebration we held a memorable reminiscent REUNION in Birmingham over the week-end of 18th-20th September 2009 based at the Hotel du Vin (old EYE Hospital site in the City); the highlight being the “Welcome Re-Visit to the Medical School” on Saturday morning (travelling on buses and trains!). A reminiscent exercise all the way with the odd giggle and comment, plenty of laughs and some surprises in identifying old haunts!!!
In 2009 the Class also donated to the Medical School over £3345.00; as an expression of our gratitude and 50 years of association with the Medical School and University (£1 for each of 50 years); to be channelled (as per our wish and with Dean’s guidance and support) for student educational welfare, and specific to the Barnes Library for e-books subscriptions.
The Reunion attracted graduates from all around the world returning to their alma mater. Fifty years is a long time and expectations were running high to view all the new developments to train today’s technologically orientated doctors. However, initially the Medical School looked exactly the same – the steps that we strode up 50 years ago looked no more worn, entrance hall basically the same; while walking through the corridors to the Lecture Theatre 4 (old Anatomy Theatre) generated some anxiety and extra heartbeats as it was where we had faced formidable Prof Charlie Smout for the first time 50 years ago!!
Professor Christopher Lote, who welcomed us on behalf of the Dean, summarised some of the major changes in the syllabus, entry requirements, training and teaching methods to accommodate an annual intake of 400+ students. Some immediately appreciated that to replace the talent of our small year might need such a huge entry but modesty was soon restored when we learnt that 7 A* at GCSE and 3 As at A level were the entry requirements! – perhaps that would have excluded almost all of our class of just 60!! So who were these paragons of virtue and talent? We soon found out – Jack Mann (current President of Medical Society) talked to us on “Medical Student Life in 21st Century” – bright as a button, charming, confident and full of information and ideas even on a Saturday morning!!
Medical education now appears to be going “Virtual”. Surprises did come thick and fast – the dissecting room had been replaced by a modern Prosectorium, which looks more like an operating suite (“spick and span” and no smell either!!). The students no longer did their own dissection and the demonstrations were prepared by the “licensed demonstrators”. The pre-clinical teaching is now “project based clinical scenarios”. The Pathology museum was there but the pots were now confined to one small corner and replaced by two floors of computers. In the museum we encountered bodies everywhere surrounded by groups of medical students (in the Medical School on Saturday!!). The “bodies” proved to be volunteers for resuscitation training.
Most of the structural changes of splendid new facilities were viewed in the West wing of the Medical School – a modern technologically equipped huge lecture theatre and luxurious student and staff facilities and study areas. The function and usage of the library has also changed in that books and journals are now available electronically on subscriptions and easily accessed anywhere – proving very popular with students. Librarian, Nancy Graham, demonstrated “fruits” of our Class donation on computer terminals in the Barnes Library.
After the tour of the Medical School, at the Reception (coffee and snacks), Chris Lote was warmly thanked for the hospitality and then in glorious sunshine the Class photograph was taken on the steps of the Medical School repeating the exercise of 1964 graduation.
The city centre venue of the Reunion provided easy opportunities to “re-explore old and new B’ham”; the hotel’s ambient atmosphere, gastronomique cuisine (53 at Gala Dinner) and excellent service relaxed graduates and their guests to enjoy each other’s company and renew contacts. Over the week-end there was much merriment and plenty of laughs – 2009 Reunion was a great success. Co-convenors, Kishore Shah and Alan Veness, with encouraging support of David South and Bob Allan, had pleasure of organising this gratifying worthwhile exercise.
47.5 year Reunion will be in the spring of 2012, in south of England.
If you want to join us at our next reunion please contact us at the Sands Cox Charity for more information.
1964 – 47.5 year Reunion
In 2012, 1964 year medical graduates, held an informal 47.5 yr Reunion on the south coast of England at The Haven Hotel, Sandbanks, Poole (Dorset) over the week-end of 13th-15th April 2012.
Local co-convenors of the Reunion, Hilary Lane (née Dodd) and Chris Williams, had chosen an ideal venue on the waterfront of Poole harbour with ambient relaxing atmosphere, comfortable services and friendly helpful hotel staff; and they even “organised” the superb week-end weather of mostly warm sunny days and cool evenings (especially in view of very wet and cold climate we had in late April, May and June 2012!).
List of Reunion attendees [22 Graduates and 16 Guests (spouses and family member)]:
David Boobyer [Jackie],
Ian Buchan [Gwyn],
Ken Edgington [Heather & son James],
Shirley Field (née Rowley) [Colin],
Gabrielle Geddes (née Carolan),
John Hobby [Joy],
Hilary Lane (née Dodd) [Richard],
Mike Matthews [Sue],
Kishore Shah [Noreen],
John Siddorn [Carol],
Chad Smith [Jo],
Chris Sretton [Jacqui],
Alan Veness [Val],
Bob Wilkins [Carolyn],
Chris Williams [Sandy],
David Williams [Antoinette].
Our usual reminiscent Reunion week-end programme was followed:
a) Friday afternoon get-to-gather, over a few jars of beer, followed by informal dinner at The Shell Bay Seafood Restaurant at Swanage [walking chain-ferry crossing from the Haven Hotel] – outing proved very popular as everyone joined in the merriment and relaxed in each other’s company over the agreeable wines and delicious seafood.
b) Graduates Meeting was held on Saturday morning (also attended by guests).
Ian Buchan kindly kept the Minutes of the Graduates Meeting on 14 April 2012 at the Haven Hotel, Poole (Dorset) and recorded as:
Apologies were received from Joanna Crawshaw (née Curry) – [medical issues of her son had prevented her from attending the Reunion]; Tim Crawshaw (Canada) unfortunately had recently suffered a subdural haemorrhage needing drainage [glad to report that he was making a good recovery now]. Ian Buchan passed on apologies from Malcolm Cochrane, whom he met recently in Adelaide (Australia), and was able to convey Malcolm’s best wishes to one and all. Apologies from Roger Rose, Pamy Sira and Colin Lewis were recorded.
Chris Williams welcomed everyone to the reunion and provided an interesting background history to the area in which the hotel was situated.
John Hobby gave a moving tribute to Elizabeth (Liz) Heitzman (née Bingham), RIP, who recently died from motor neurone disease. After a highly successful career she bravely accepted the inevitable consequences of this awful illness and chose not to remain alive with the aid of artificial ventilation.
A minute’s silence was observed in memory of ALL colleagues who have died over the period since 1964 graduation:
Liz Heitzman (née Bingham), Lewis Coulton, Alex Eneli, Derek Hoddy, David Hopkin, David Owen, Tony Sear, Austin Tate, Leon Winslow, John Woodman.
Bob Wilkins gave an interesting illustrated account of expeditions in remote areas and also was able to reflect on the pleasure of seeing his children and grandchildren make their way in the world.
Chris Stretton told us about his new job as head steward in the Cathedral but was a little nonplussed to see, as a retirement gift, hanging on the wall a painting of the crucifixion which was in memoriam of himself! Perhaps a little premature.
The meeting then was thereafter mainly devoted to the consideration of parrots: Nola Webster described the dilemma associated with the joint entombment of a dead patient and a not yet dead parrot!!
John Siddorn reflected on bird fanciers lung, and the subsequent difficulty of getting rid of a holy parrot. This dilemma was resolved by the decease of the said bird.
Graham Housam described the difficulties of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation of a parrot with psittacosis and reminded us of a well-known tale involving an errant vicar and a profane parrot.
David Williams encounter with terminal staff at the airport reminded him of the transience of life.
Kishore Shah (who Chaired the Meeting) reminded us all that the next reunion would coincide with the celebration in the Great Hall at Birmingham University for ALL the graduates who had graduated 50 years previously – “Special Reunion” a full day Saturday programme organised by the University. After much discussion it was agreed by those present that our usual 1964 year reunion would be held at the same time adjacent to this university call [June 2014].*
1964 year Reunion accounts and general organisational issues were discussed.
c) Saturday afternoon was free time to explore local beautiful areas.
Some took a ferry to Brownsea Island (National Trust nature reserve park) or visited Studland Beach and Nature Reserve or Swanage local sites; a few went on a long beach walk or shopping in Poole/Bournemouth, whilst the usual die-hards just landed up in the pub in Swanage with beer to justify the visit!
d) Graduates & Guests Reception & Dinner on Saturday at the hotel.
Informality being the theme of the Reunion the dress code on this occasion was jacket & tie or smart casual [Ladies as always kept up the standards by being dressed beautifully].
38 attendees set down in the company of each other to a gastronomique cuisine and fine wines. There was much merriment, plenty of laughs and reminiscent talks; but, as is our usual Reunion policy, there were no speeches!
Indeed a very enjoyable evening followed, as is the custom with us, majority “retired” to the residents bar or to DB’s room for “nightcaps”; of course I mean single malt whiskies supplied by IB & SC [purposely identified with initials only!].
e) Sunday morning – after a leisurely breakfast there were fond Bye – Byes and promise to meet again in 2014. All attending the excellent 47.5 year Reunion were greatly appreciative of the work and organisation done by Hillary Lane, Chris Williams and their respective spouses and Kishore Shah’s usual general supportive input.
1964 – 50 year Graduation Jubilee Reunion
This one was special! The four-day 50 year Reunion of the Class of 1964 was held at the Pomme D’Or
Hotel, St Hellier, Jersey (10 – 14 September 2014). Our utmost thanks to Nola Webster (and her family) for arranging the entire project, and also Kishore Shah who is the guiding hand behind all our
reunions. The first full day of our reunion was spectacular Jersey International Air-Show culminating with the Red Arrows transforming the sky with their acrobatic display and multi-coloured traces.
There were excursions to magnificent gardens, wildlife zoo park of Gerald Durrell, a visit to a defensive turret with potent reminders of the German occupation during the war. A Formal Gala Dinner was held on Saturday at the hotel.
List of 45 Attendees – 25 Graduates and 20 Guests (spouses and partners):- David Boobyer ( Jackie), Yvonne Binge, Ian Buchan (Gwynne), Judith Brown, Ken Edgington (Heather), Shirley Field (Colin), Gabrielle Geddes, Charles George, Phil Haselton (Sindi), Roger Hillman (Liz), John Hobby ( Joy), Graham Housam (Anna Colbourn), Hilary Lane (Richard), Mike Matthews (Sue), Stuart Saunders, Kishore Shah (Noreen), Pamy Sira (Penny), Roger Rose (Martina), Chad Smith (Jo), David South ((Melanie Evans), Chris Stretton (Jaquie), Alan Veness (Val), Nola Webster (Malcolm Wright), Chris Williams (Sandie), David Williams (Antoinette).
2 overseas colleagues unfortunately had to withdraw at the last minute – Les Brown (Australia) and Suru Chande (Canada). Apologies were received from Bob Allan, Sam Appiah, Joy Ashby, Malcolm Cocharan, Joanna Crawshaw, Tim Crawshaw, John Davis, David Heath, Colin Lewis, Bryan Pepper, Chris Pourgorides and Bob Wilkins.
At the Graduates Meeting a moment’s silence was observed in fond memories of our 10 deceased colleagues (RIP).
Nola Webster gave a most illuminating presentation about her life as a GP in Jersey and also an insight into the patterns of morbidity in Jersey. People pay to see the GP and this seems to work well in that people attend with appropriate conditions and not trivialities. Defence subscriptions are however high. Although Jersey to the visitor appears an idyllic island, there is a high suicide rate, a significant drug problem, a poor psychiatric service, and a high incidence of cancer, particularly oro-pharyngeal.
Charles George reflected on the dramatic change that new treatments such as angioplasty and stenting and clot retrieval has had on reduction in morbidity and mortality.
Roger Rose highlighted his Canadian “adventures” into wine making from frozen grapes!
Kishore Shah updated the group on absent friends, University and Medical College news, QEHB and Reunions related matters.
1964 Class presented to Nola Wester a framed photo of Jersey scene and a M&S voucher in recognition and appreciation of her excellent organisation of the Jersey Reunion.
The culmination of the Graduates Meeting was the cutting of a magnificent Jubilee Cake.
The last event was the formal dinner – merriment continued with the increasingly animated conversation until the Glenfiddich unfortunately evaporated.
The whole occasion was one of relaxation and conviviality and a frequently expressed emotion was one of gratitude for the wonderful experiences that we have all had throughout our 50 years as doctors.
Ian Buchan and Kishore Shah