Hewading 1Winners of the Sands Cox CHAAY pRIZE
Medical Graduates of 1967
1967 Reunion June 15th/16th 2007
The 40 year reunion took the form of a two day event organized by Peter and John Jackson.
We began with a dinner at Edgbaston Golf Club which was attended by 36 Graduates and 22 partners.
The initially tentative atmosphere quickly escalated into a deafening cacophony of story swapping etc when people seemed to just carry on from where they had left off years before.
Nearly all had retired or semi retired making for a feeling of relaxation and jollity no doubt due to new found freedoms. Many had tales of distant travel, old hobbies and pastimes rekindled.
As always the faithful regulars from far away (Jenny Lawrence (née Faid) from Australia and Kari Smedstadt and Ann O’Donovan from Canada) got there, and overall we were well supported by people from all over UK. The most environmentally friendly traveller was Pat Riley who arrived by canal boat!
At the dinner Peter Jackson read out apologies from the following – Dave Child – who is now a Rev. – Nick Chitimba, now chairman of the HIV/Aids Commission in Malawi, Monica Jones, Tjong Peng Goh, Val Klein, Geoff Lealman, Kate Macrodt, Joe and Ruth Ostrowski, Jerry Smart, Chris Stockdale, Eric Botheroyd, Jenny Bulman, Roger Burford, Richard Donovan, James Forrest, Rosie George (née Moore), Ken Parker, Dasen Veerasamy and Les Culank. We also remembered Mary Churchill and Roger Terry who had died since we last met.
Dexter Graham phoned from near Edmonton, Alberta, where he runs an Ambulance service. He reported that Don Forster works in alcohol counselling somewhere nearby, and Dave MacDonald, now not in practise either, but works as a counsellor for sex addiction in California. For (Prof) Eric Walker this was his first reunion – very brave I thought to come on his own after 40 yrs. He is Dean of the Faculty of Travel Medicine, Glasgow University. It was especially good to see Paul Newton looking spry – I think we benefited from the steadying influence of our fellow mature students.
We couldn’t stop Phil Cleland (now a distinguished judge of Longhorn cattle and other rare breeds) from giving his usual hilarious anecdotal speech on life in general and in particular his recollections as a country GP in Herefordshire. By the time he finished he had also proposed our health and we all felt a lot better from laughing so much.
The following day, for those who could get up in time, there was a tour of the new medical school buildings by the Sub Dean, Robert Arnott (nephew of Melville). For most people it was the first chance to see how the grand upper level which used to house the pathological museum is now given over to ranks of computers. With the annual intake now around 400 students, the infrastructure has been hugely enlarged by building with glass and steel into the space between the Medical School and the QE. A cafeteria and spacious common room are there and, most importantly, a new state of the art lecture hall named after Leonard Deacon, the gynaecologist, who was in his prime during our time.
Later we gathered in the old main lecture room near the former dissecting room where there was a lively question and answer session centring largely on what (if anything) to do about the current 70% female dominated undergraduate intake. I seem to remember Leslie Arkell speaking out strongly against letting the situationcontinue – something that the chaps didn’t dare to say!
The final function was a well attended buffet lunch at Lucas House that gave opportunity of talking with different people having had the chance to ask discreetly who that person was who we had not recognized at first. People took a long time to disperse so we must have been enjoying ourselves.
We have had all positive feedback but more than one have suggested next time we should wear name badges, and maybe meet in 3 yrs time instead of 5. We would value more feedback about that.
For more information about future reunions please contact us here at the Sands Cox Charity.