Reunions held in 2004: Class of 1974
26 - 28 November 2004
By Manfred Teichler
Beverley Adriaans, Brynne Ascot-Evans, Peter Beresford, Haggis Black, Peter Bonafede, Peter Chapman, Peter Cooper, Ton y Currie, Jacques De Haan, Beau Dees, Les Emdin, David Franklin, Ian Gilbertson, Rhodiah Gool, Matt Haus, Pat Hawke, Arthur Huber, Faika Jappie, Raymond Jonas, Darryl Kalil, Gillian Knox (Moll), Charles Larsen, Stephen Louw, Ted Lowther, Vijay Magan, Stuart Meintjes, Philip Melmed, Vincent Miller, H ugh Morris, Dirk Mouton, Jeanne Nel, Tim Noakes, Andreas Obholzer, Olaf Opitz Charles Palmer, Barry Penn, Jeffrey Perlman, Peter Reid, Paul Roux, Ivan Schewitz, Peter Schwartz, David Shlugman, Howard Shuman, Murray Solomon, Manfred Teichler, Revere Thomson, Helen Wainwright, Linda Wainwright, Brian Warren, John Woods
(Click on the image to see a large version.)
Friday, 26 November - Coffee and Registration
Please note that the parts in italics are my age-related excursions into the past and can be ignored if desired!
Our adventure start ed on Friday morning, the 26th of November. I was very excited and had palpitations. We left 30 years ago, in an era that could be termed: In the Shadow of Jannie Louw. Apartheid has long gone and we are now 10 years into the Rainbow Nation. That's a big change. How will it be after all these years and changes? I had quite a few dreams about this event in the last months: in one dream we were writing exams in Jameson Hall like Pharmacology in 1971. Everyone was dressed up, but I was in my pyjamas and nobody recognised me ...
I remember Kelvin Abramowitz, Stanley Yankelowitz , Darryl Isaacs and their friends spending many hours there playing cards, and look how far they got in life ... Should I have spent more time here??
My friendship with Tim started in 1969 in the Zoology practicals. I did wonder what sort of doctor he would make one day, because as we dissected Rattus rattus, Necator americanus, Xenopis levis and their mates, he kept using the unprofessional word:"Siss" rather often. We misspent many hours of our youth running. During these days, 30 years on, we did it again, but the puffing has definitely increased ...
The reuni on started with coffee at the upstairs spiral staircase area. As I reached the top of the stairs, my palpitations stopped as I received a warm welcome from many who had already arrived. Nobody had changed much and if anything, the 30 years have improved our relationships. David Shlugman ( the black hair a respectable silver) was embracing people left, right and centre. Murray Solomon has even less hair than before, but his welcoming smile is unchanged. Ted Lowther lost ALL his hair in Australia, but has kept his warm heart. Ivan Shewitz has NOT changed at all, I promise you: slim, fit, enthusi astic and friendly. It was nice to meet Joan Tuff, who did us all a personal favour by working so hard at preparations.
Ivan gave me a lift home to Kenilworth one day. His Honda knew only one speed: the top one. I put my umbrella crossways between us. I shouldn't have. Cars were moving very slowly on De Waal Drive and Ivan went for the gap between the cars without hesitation. I jerked my umbrella across to prevent instant execution. Unfortunately the point scratched along the row of cars at top speed. Before you could say "malicious damage to property", we were out the other side. And then I appreciated the one-speed policy: there was no way anybody was going to catch up with us. I used the train after that.
Tour of the Student Learning Centre and the Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine building
The banks of computers and th e small group discussion rooms impressed us and proved that UCT is moving with the times. We never had any computers, but we had lots of colourful characters. There was Oom Daan, charming Paula Wilson and Dr Bosman, to mention a few. Dr. Elsworth in Chemistry impressed me. At the second practical he greeted me by name. When our results came out at the admin building he was there and remembered me. Ten years later he popped into the hospital in Venda, where I was working. As I approached him, our matron said to him: "This is Dr. Teichler - he comes from Germany. " "No," he replied. "I know D r. Teichler. He is a South African." Amazing.
It was interesting listening to Prof Gevers telling us of the research with international teams taking place here on the Big Five or more diseases of Africa: HIV, TB, Malaria, Rotavirus and others.
Tour of Groote Schuur Hospital, Chris Barnard Cardiac Unit and the Transplant Museum
What impressed me was the low-tech equipment and the space available in the transplant theatre, compared with today's standard equipment. The postcards that are sold are from photos taken 30 years ago by our own Revere Thomson! (Four of us slipped in there one day, as a transplant was taking place - strictly illegal, of course. Ted Lowther was the instigator. We camouflaged ourselves well. I wore the boots of Prof. MC Botha, Selwyn Spangenthal had Dr M Barnard's and Dave Spencer probably had the spare set of Chris himself. It was exciting pioneer stuff initially. After a while it was rather boring.)
I didn't like the big hospital. It must have been planned by somebody with a cement psychosis! However, walking through the long and famous corridors of the hospital, many memories from long ago came to me ... We walked into a medical ward one day. There was a group of our classmates, including David Fisher, who were standing in a circle, concentrating on something. Selwyn Spangenthal slapped one on the back and shouted jovially: "Hey, you bunch of pseudo-intellectuals!" Dr. Ferguson's head appeared, in the middle of the group. He was not amused. Selwyn apologised with a rather red face ...
I had taken a day off, to rest the brain and revive the enthusiasm of youth. At the bedside tutorial, the bed was empty. We were asked what could be the reason. Not having been there the day before and therefore definitely not knowing, I nonetheless very unwisely suggested: "A malingerer, perhaps?" Helen Brown:" He was what?!" had all the frostiness and danger of a sudden weather change on Mount Everest. The correct answer was: he had Typhoid Fever and was transferred to the City Infectious Diseases Hospital ...
The times as surgical housemanship in 1975 were the worst 6 months of my life. Calm and organised Pete Cooper was the ideal colleague to have there. The four of us on C-Floor (including Ralph Levine and Jack Gassner) came up with an ingenious plan to reduce the stress. We would dedicate one person only for night duty, three worked during the day. The catch was that the registrars would have to do more work. So we didn't ask them: we went straight to Ed Immelman, who approved. So for a while we lived like gentlemen, until the registrar-lobby forced us back into slavery ...
Cocktail Party - New Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine Building (IIDMM) - Medical School
At the cocktail party on Friday evening, we were welcomed by the Deputy Dean of the UCT Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Gonda Perez, who reminded us of our past and what had changed in the past 30 years. In particular she mentioned that we needed to remember that not all our classmates had enjoyed equal access to patients and teaching materials (such as cadavers) and that an important part of her work and that of UCT was to redress the historical injustices that had occurred.
Saturday, 27 November - Academic Meeting - UCT Lung Institute
Chair: Raymond Jonas
It was a very entertaining and impressive event. I particularly enjoyed the many photos that were shown: of events 30 years ago and of families. Pete Cooper told us how he and Geoff Budlender took the government to court about their ridiculous HIV policies. Both were known for the liberal views in the apartheid days, and they have not changed, despite their advanced age and at cost to them in terms of professional career, etc. If I was the king here, I would give them both special medals. Paul Roux impressed with his talk on his HIV Clinic - realising the biggest problem most children and their families faced was poverty. They initiated income generating self-help projects with a turnover of R1 million in 2004. (I was as nervous before my talk as I was in fifth year at my famous talk on Large Bowel Polyps with big Jannie Louw in the chair next to me. However, 31 years later it was different: as soon as I stood in front, I only saw love, interest and smiling eyes before me.)
Trip to Robben Island
I was glad that I had the opportunity to do this pilgrimage to this important place. How often had I stood on Table Mountain and wondered what was happening over there. It was another highlight of a very intense 3 days.
Gala Dinner -Radisson Hotel, Granger Bay
At the Dinner, at the insistence of Pete Schwartz and with the help of Manfred Teichler, Tim Noakes opened his address by saying in words, overcome by the emotion of the moment, that he was absolutely astonished at what each member of the class had achieved and how much good we had done for so many people throughout the world. This he could never possibly have imagined in December 1974. Nor could any of us appreciate how remarkably talented all of our classmates were. He wondered where the 30 years had gone since it seemed that only yesterday we had graduated together. Since we had now completed 75% of our careers and nothing much was likely to change in the final 25%, he suggested that it was time to take stock and to prepare our class report card. His impression was that the group was in remarkably good physical and emotional health and that there was a confidence, assuredness and certainty that could not have been expected from the uncertain group that had graduated 30 years ago. Despite our common training, we had gone in many different directions, reflecting the creative diversity of the group. He was impressed by the fact that not once had anyone discussed how important he or she was because of what he or she had achieved and which was clearly much to be envied. In fact the reticence of anyone to refer to themselves was remarkable for any group and has to reflect on the mature self-acceptance of all the members of the group. Nor had anyone asked why we had chosen to continue our careers either in South Africa or overseas. We appeared to respect each others' choices without any second guessing. His opinion was that leaving the country was always the more difficult choice. But what was really noticeable was that everyone now seemed comfortable with their choices. Perhaps 5 years ago, those who had chosen to stay might not have been so certain but with the remarkable advances in the country since 1994, the choice seemed to be working. Speaking for those who had stayed, he said that we are very proud of what the nation has achieved and we have a new-found confidence in the future that would not have been possible in the difficult period of the 1970's and 1980's through which many of us had lived in South Africa. He used the example of Paul Roux's initiatives in first acquiring retroviral therapy for his patients and then for establishing a successful business model to help the mothers of children with HIV, as an inspiring example of a creative solution to what appears to be a hopeless situation.
He concluded by suggesting that we had been a fortunate group to have lived in such interesting times and to have come out of those challenges stronger and with evident purpose to our lives. He wondered if there was not some way to capture our joint experience in a book of individual experiences that would tell our country and the world what it had been like to be amongst the first group of South African medical students to have been born under apartheid and to have reached maturity at the time that democracy finally arrived. Properly told he thought it would be a glorious story of historical significance and a remarkable tribute to what we had all achieved as a collective unit. For none could have foreseen the importance of what we have achieved.
Sunday, 28 November: Guided tour of Kirstenbosch Gardens followed by a buffet lunch at Kirstenbosch Restaurant
This was a nice way to end a wonderful event.
I am left with: The seven and more Wonders of the Class of '74.
Where are they now?
Chris Abels - I am presently serving as a Resident Medical Officer in a private hospital in Swindon in England.
Alan Abelsohn - I am a family physician in Toronto, in private practice and associated with the university. I also consult, teach and do research in environmental health, mostly interested in air pollution and climate change issues. I am happily remarried, and have two daughters at university. I spend free time gardening, canoeing and doing karate.
Kelvyn Abramowitz - Unfortunately I was unable to attend due to a conflicting family occasion. However, I am an aneasthesiologist in Seattle at Swedish MedicalCenter/Ballard. I live on the other side of the lake in Belleview. Originally I came here to the University Hospital in 1987. My best wishes to all.
Adriaans Beverley - Completed MRCP in 1980, then trained in dermatology at GSH for 2 years then Glasgow for 1 year. Spent 3 years at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine doing an MD on Tropical Ulcers. Submitted to UCT 1988. Then King's College hospital to complete my UK dermatology training then appointed consultant dermatologist at Greenwich in London (1989). Also senior lecturer at Guy's / St Thomas'. Left (the big city) in 1998 to a semi-rural area - Gloucestershire as a consultant dermatologist. Bought an old/derelict property and built a new house on the land. Just decided to work part time (2 days a week) so that I can develop the 4-acre garden. Addicted gardener so am very busy this time of the year. (Hundreds of seeds to prick out ... lots of cuttings to take).
Brynne Ascot-Evans - After 20 years in academic medicine at GSH, for the last three years I have been Professor of Medicine (Univ.Stellenbosch) and Principal Specialist in the Endocrine Unit at Tygerberg Academic Hospital. I have a daughter, Kate (21yrs old) who is an actress in Hollywood and a son of 17, Byron, who is in Matric at Camps Bay High, where he is Head Prefect. We live next to the Waterfront. It is tough being a single parent and holding all this together, but on the upside - Cape Town ROCKS !!!
Brian Baker - I am in Toronto and have been in Canada since 1979. I am a psychiatrist with a practice focused on cardiac patients. I do some research, lecture a bit and have written a book for the public, all on the psychiatric aspects of the cardiac patient. We are very happy here.
Peter Beresford - The reunion exceeded all expectations - we must do it again. I am currently an Obstetrician/Gynaecologist working in a tertiary care centre in Vancouver, British Columbia. I can play golf year round, ski six months of the year, hike in the mountains 30 minutes away and garden year round. Our home is open to all and sundry and we'd love to have some visitors.
Haggis Black - After UCT returned to the then Rhodesia to work off a bursary which took me eventually to Kariba running an 80-bed hospital alone in the troubled times. Quickly realized that you can kill patients by incompetence in two fields of medicine - anaesthetics and obstetrics - so did a Dip Mid and the DA before landing up in Adelaide after our emigration from Rhodesia. We are still here - original intention was a couple of years! It is terrific - very challenging work-wise and huge variety. We have part-time private practice and the two of us also run the hospital trying to provide a comprehensive service to the 18 000 odd community. Come and visit some day.
Peter Bonafede - It was a great event, wasn't it? We are also in the throes of winter with little sun and so this mail is a little late. Peter Bonafede MBChB, MD(UCT), MBA (University of Oregon), did doctorate in Human Genetics with Peter Beighton, Internal Medicine training at Groote Schuur followed by Rheumatology training at Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) and now function as Medical Director of Providence Arthritis Center in Portland, Oregon and am Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at OHSU (as volunteer faculty) There will be an end to winter.
Peter Cooper - After internship, army, SHO and a year travelling overseas, I came to Johannesburg at the end of 1978 to start registrar training on the Wits circuit. After completion I stayed on as a consultant and sub-specialised in Neonatology becoming Head of the Neonatal units at Johannesburg and Baragwanath Hospitals; since 1995 Professor and Head of Department of Paediatrics at Johannesburg Hospital and, since 2003, also Academic Head of Paediatrics.
Pete Cruse - I "retired" as Professor of Anatomical Pathology at UCT/GSH in 2001 and was "headhunted" after doing my MBA at UCT to Dubai, UAE where I am now a Management Consultant and Group Medical Director running a private tertiary hospital and associated clinics.
Tony Currie - I am in a Family Practise in Swakopmund where I have been since 1996. Prior to this was in practise in Omaruru from 1978 -1996. Hope we have another reunion in 5 years' time.
Beau Dees - I am an Occupational Health Physician in Kazakhstan, working for an oil company, having done post-graduate studies in Community and Occupational Health. I live in Johannesburg.
Tom Dooley - I trained in orthopaedics in London then did a spinal Fellowship in Toronto. I took up a consultant appointment in London in 1988 and decided to get married the same year. I am a regular visitor to South Africa to see my family but was unable to make the reunion as it clashed with a meeting in Sydney. It looks as if it was a great success.
Rael Elk - After graduation went into Anesthesia and remained at UCT and Groote Schuur until 1985. Made the trek across the pond and somehow landed up in Houston, Texas. Stayed at the medical school here for a few years climbing up the rungs of academia gaining lots of fancy titles and writing lots of esoteric articles. However that didn't pay the bills (we had kids to put through college) and so I plunged into private practice and have been there ever since. I remarried soon after arriving in Texas and between us we have five kids - a lawyer and biomedical ethicist, a high school classics teacher, a budding forensic psychologist, a paramedic and a kid in Israel learning to make movies. They are all grown, three came back to live in Houston but unfortunately no grand kids as yet. I just want to say that I was really sorry to miss the reunion but it clashed with thanksgiving which is a major holiday here and that's when the entire family gets together. Finally I would like you to know that not everyone in Texas is a George Bush fan including us! Regards from the lone star state.
Robin Emsley - I could not make the reunion. I am Professor and Head of Department of Psychiatry at the University of Stellenbosch. I've been in this post since 1987, after specialising in psychiatry in 1981.
David Franklin - I left South Africa in 1979 to do my Anaesthesia residency in Denver, Colorado, USA, where I have remained ever since, raising 3 children and working towards my current position as Regional Department Chief of Anaesthesiology for Kaiser Permanente, Colorado, while obtaining an MA in Transpersonal Counselling Psychology at Naropa University in Boulder in my spare time and pursuing my interest in personal growth, spirituality and the Integral Theory of Ken Wilber.
Ian Gilbertson - I have eventually settled down on a 10-acre "farm" on the banks of the "mighty??" Waikato River just outside Hamilton, New Zealand and work as a GP in a small town 10 minutes away. Two years after graduating I sailed on a square rigger to South America, then the Caribbean, before flying on to Canada, US and then New Zealand, where I met Linda. After 3 years in Australia we married and returned to Potgietersrus (Mokopane) - home-town of Tony Currie and myself. We spent 3 years there, expanded our family by 3 girls, and then moved on to Swaziland where we had a fantastic 12 years before returning to New Zealand in 1999. Besides running after my sheep (purely for agricultural purposes) and working, I am not doing much else these days.
Neville Golden - I did my internship at Groote Schuur, Paediatrics training in Israel and then subspecialty training in Adolescent Medicine in the United States. Since 1980 I have been living in New York. I am married with two adolescent boys. I am Director of the Eating Disorders Center of Schneider Children's Hospital in New Hyde Park, New York and Professor of Clinical Paediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Pete Grothaus - Left South Africa in 1977 for London, then to Canada in 1978 were I became a Plastic Surgeon in 1984 and then to Texas in 1987 where I have been ever since. Have three children and two grand-daughters.
Pat Hawke - I am a solo practicing gynae at Olivedale Clinic in Johannesburg, and have been in private practice for 23 years. I have two kids, divorced but in long-term relationship, six cats, three dogs, indigenous gardener and fanatic birder.
Faika Jappie - It was lovely to catch up with you after all these years. My life is a bit of a soap opera so one line is a bit difficult, but here goes. I am currently in a mix of teaching (Royal Australian College of GP), Forensic Medicine and General Practice. I spent 15 years as the chief Medical Examiner for the Victoria Police and Department of Justice, a position that gave great scope for the drama queen in me. Now I have slowed down a bit and have started singing, something I had never considered myself capable of. I am practising to sing Gershwin at a local cabaret. Stay tuned. I hope I do!
Darryl Kalil - I live in North Carolina near Greensboro and have been here for 8 years in private Cardiology practice. I started at the University of Iowa in 1994 and after completing all the required academic time and American exams, I came to North Carolina and started this practice.
Alf Kettles - I was transferred from Jubilee back to East.London at the end of September 1997, after I had fallen foul of the authorities about the abortion issue at Jubilee, and after they refused to establish me as the superintendent at Jubilee after I had been appointed as such and the appointment was confirmed by the Public Service Commission. It is a long story, and of absolutely no consequence at this stage. I was able to take early retirement from the Dept of Health of the Eastern Cape, and stopped work on 30 June 1998. I had had a total of 27 years government service, and went on pension with 25 years service. The next day I started a locum at Medicross in East London, and stayed there for five years before I pulled out of GP work. I now do four factory clinics a week, and assist at surgery every Wednesday morning and whenever else I am required. I am getting a bit long in the tooth, and turn 68 this year (September).
Gillian Knox (Moll) - I practice general and cardiac anesthesiology in Victoria, Canada. After England, Australia and New Zealand this little piece of heaven is almost as beatiful as South Africa.
Charles Larsen - I have for the past 18 years been a partner in a large private radiology practice in central Cape Town. We are an 18-man practice serving 6 private hospitals. We own 6 CT scanners including a new 64-slice cardiac scanner and 3 MRI scanners. We do tele-reporting of MRI scans from the UK. We have a full time locum practice at an NHS hospital at Greenock in Scotland and rotate through it 3 weeks at a time. I am married with 4 children. The oldest two are at UCT - Justin - 23 doing his GDA having done Business Science Honours in Information Technology. Andrea (21) is in 4th year Architecture. The younger 2 boys are at Bishops. My wife, Rene, is a nutritionist. Cape Town is still a great place in which to live, despite the crime and security problems. Looking forward to seeing you all at the next reunion!
Stephen Louw - After my FCP(SA) I won an ICI Research Fellowship to Edinburgh where I did work on which I based my MD. Back at UCT I became a Consultant Respiratory and ITU physician. Research-wise I pursued my interest in epidemiology and did some work in older people and was then appointed William Slater Professor and Chair of the Department of Geriatrics at UCT. After seven years upped sticks in 1998 to gain some experience in the UK - I am now a consultant geriatrician and stroke physician in Newcastle-upon-Tyne where I head two Directorates (some 66 consultants) in one of the largest teaching hospital groups in the UK. I grow roses, play a bit of tennis, bridge and enjoy my 4 children and a newly acquired very stroppy Beagle.
Ted Lowther - I am a general paediatrician in private practice in Frankston, an outer suburb of Melbourne, with a public appointment at the local hospital and a smaller semi-rural hospital at Rosebud, further down the Mornington Peninsula where there is a primary level Maternity Unit including a Mother-Baby unit for depressed mothers and distressed infants. I also attend two private Maternity units on the Peninsula. My practice comprises 30% neonatology and follow-up including following locally small / sick prems who were managed at tertiary level units in the city (four neonatal ICUs). Included in this group are lots of distressed infants with distraught mothers. 30% of my practice involves problematical asthma as does any paediatric practice in Australia. The other big groups of children I see are those not achieving at school, many of whom do much better on stimulant medication; children with severe chronic disabilities such as Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Autism etc; and a heterogeneous group too time consuming for general practitioners to manage: diabetes, bedwetters, encopretics etc. I trained in Paediatrics at the Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane, spent time at Mount Isa in far North West Queensland dealing with Third World medicine: Rheumatic carditis, severe malnutrition etc that still afflict the Aboriginal community. During that period I did clinics through the Gulf of Carpentaria, flying with the Royal Flying Doctor Service. I seriously considered staying there but to survive in the Outback it is obligatory to be passionate about hunting, beer and Four Wheel Drives, none of which particularly interest me. I count myself as very fortunate - I enjoy what I do and get paid well for doing it!
Jane Macpherson (Solomon) - After medical school I went to 2 Military Hospital for housemanship (got in nowhere, was told to go up country but I was married and Stuart worked in Cape Town) where I learnt nothing! Basically worked for Day Hospitals for many years with a long gap in between with the kids, followed by a couple of years in Radiation-Oncology at GSH after which I am now the school doctor at Bel Porto School looking after mentally handicapped children and the staff.
Stuart Meintjes - I am a Plastic Surgeon - practising from my private clinic - the Rose Clinic in Green Point Cape Town.
Raun Melmed - I am a developmental paediatrician in Arizona, married to Helen and have 4 daughters. I am involved in clinical practice and research, primarily in autism. Fun is still a priority!
Don Miller - Moving from South Africa, in May 1998, I took up a permanent job as a senior lecturer in the department of Anaesthetics at Guy's Hospital, which later became incorporated into King's College London. The opportunity to do research was attractive but the job has not been what I expected - www.slipa.com might be of interest. However, we discovered St Helen's Church, Bishopsgate, where we continue to hear the best Bible teaching yet. We are learning what the gospel means and discovering how freeing from the curse of religion is true Christianity. I would define religion as, what man does to make him feel good about himself. With that definition, everyone of us is cursed with being religious. If any of you wish to listen to these life-giving sermons you can click onto the website at www.st-helens.org.uk. My wife, Janet, is the receptionist there. Of our four young adult children, three are living in South Africa, Amy, Geoff and Ruth, married to Simon. Alice, married to Steve, is living in North London. I am likely to be made redundant within the next 18 months as they have closed down the academic department here.
Hugh Morris - After nearly 20 years establishing and helping develop a pathology laboratory practice in Natal, Gauteng and the Cape, I have packed away the microscope and returned to my roots enjoying environmental matters, landscape painting and sea kyaking in the Cape.
Tim Noakes - My parents were immigrants to South Africa from Liverpool so I suspect it was likely that I would want to stay put for at least one generation. Marilyn whom I married at the end of third year and I are still very much together. We have two children, both of whom are UCT graduates - Candice (born in 1975) in drama and Travis (born in 5th year in 1973) in Fine Arts; both are gainfully employed in Cape Town - Candice teaches drama at a variety of schools in the southern suburbs; Travis is one of the founding members of a start-up health monitoring company, BodyiQ, which is now part owned by the Virgin group and is to be launched in Britain and the United States as Virgin LifeCare. Marilyn is the perfect companion for the three of us and now that she has more time, is pursuing her special talents in botanical art. After my internship I joined Professor Lionel Opie in the newly established Heart Research Unit at Medical School and worked there until I earned my MD in 1981. Thereafter with a small group of enthusiastic lecturers and students, we started teaching sports science degrees at UCT. Today after graduating more than 400 students, we have our own facility, the Sports Science Institute of South Africa, built on the old Newlands "B" rugby ground. The money for the development was raised with the partnership of Morne du Plessis, who had become a Western Province and Springbok rugby legend in the years shortly after we graduated. Here we undertake research "to improve the health and sporting performance of all South Africans". My special interests are the way in which the brain regulates exercise performance by integrating physiological and other information from all the different organ systems in the body, and the condition of exercise-related hyponatraemia, which we were the first to stumble across in 1981. Our finding that the condition is due to overdrinking during exercise has been challenged for 20 years. But a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in April 2005 has confirmed that we were correct all along. My academic journey can be followed in my book, Lore of Running.
Andreas Obholzer - Rounding the Cape again after thirty years: the Class of 1974 reunion was remarkable, and it was a pleasure to meet up again, with about one third of our classmates, over the last weekend of November 2004. When we graduated, the storm clouds against apartheid were gathering over the Cape, followed by escalating violence till the early nineties. As a result, more than half of our class emigrated to the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, Europe and two to Namibia. Those that left and those that stayed, had to make major adjustments. Had we all left, we would not have had a reunion. The Cape of Storms changed to the Cape of Good Hope with the release of Nelson Mandela and ten years after the 1994 democracy miracle, we returned to the fairest Cape in all the world.
Of our 162 classmates, three have passed away, a couple have already retired, 48 have specialized (with anaesthetics and paediatrics being the most popular choices) and 16 have obtained the status of professor/associate professor. The Saturday morning academic meeting reflected a wide spectrum, from up-to-date academics and philosophy, to solid burnt out GP input. The new glass dome of the IIDMM. at medical school symbolizes the dynamic interactive mindset of the new generation of teachers and researchers. The new curriculum is aiming to strike a balance between disciplined teaching and an ever enquiring mind.
The immense and brooding spirit of Cecil John Rhodes, who dreamt of exclusive capitalist imperialism more than a century ago, with a forty year catastrophic apartheid era in the twentieth century, was replaced by the immense and benevolent spirit of Nelson Mandela a century later, for an all inclusive democracy, promising a better future for all South Africans. They now share goals in the Rhodes/Mandela Trust.
We were privileged to be in the class of 1974, and with that came responsibility to plough back our skills and values, which we did locally and globally.
After qualifying, I did my internship at Edendale Hospital in Natal, and then my national service all over Southern Africa, before heading for Namibia in 1978. I am settled and married in Windhoek. My wife, Dr Karin von Wenzel, runs the Nuclear Medicine Department. My son, Sven, qualified MBChB at Stellenbosch in 2004, and Sonja, my daughter, is in her fourth year Dentistry in Pretoria.
After a clinical stint in private practice and anaesthetics, (Diploma in Anaesthetics) I was in charge as Chief Medical Superintendent of the 1200-bed Windhoek State Hospital Complex for fifteen years. After recovering from a subarachnoid heamorrhage in 1998, I returned to clinical medicine (anaesthetics) as Chief Medical Officer. I am also the medical advisor for the 130,000 member government medical aid. My wife and I are weekend farmers on her family farm near Otjiwarongo. We farm with beef cattle and game. Life has been good to us. A big thanks to Tim, Barry, Raymond and Joan for organizing a reunion, which we will treasure. Before many more retire we should meet again in five years time.
Charles Palmer - I trained in Paediatrics at UCT and worked as a neonatologists at Shipley and Groote Schuur Hospital. In 1987 I was invited to spend a year as a visiting professor in the Department of Paediatrics of Penn State Children's Hospital in Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA. I have been here ever since and am now the Division Chieffor Newborn Medicine. My academic interests are hypoxic-ischemic brain injury and neuro protection, and the development of innovative technology for newborn care.
Barry Penn - I am married with 3 children - a daughter, who completed her MBChB at UCT in 2002 and is now locuming in the UK, a son with a commerce degree, playing in a band in Johannesburg as well as trying to make a living, and a younger daughter completing 3rd year BA Law at UCT. I am in private practice as an anaesthesiologist.
Jeffrey Perlman - I agree with your sentiments about the reunion. Briefly - I have been in the Unites States since 1979. I specialized in Paediatrics, sub-specialized in Neonatology and have focused my research on newborn neurologic problems. I am currently Division Chief of Newborn Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York. I have two adult offspring - a son who works on Wall Street and a daughter who is a senior at Princeton.
Paul Potter - I missed the event as you know. I live in Cape Town, married, 4 children (2 at UCT and 2 at School). I am a Profesor of Allergy at Groote Schuur Hospital and Director of the UCT Lung Institute Allergy Diagnostic and Clinical Research Unit, Cape Town. Special research interest: Indigenous African Allergies. My degrees: MD (CapeTown), BSc(Hons)(Immunology) FCP(Paed)SA, DCH(SA) FAAAAI(USA) FACAAI(USA). My hobbies: Scuba diving,music and travelling to exotic "places". Still an academic (about 240 publications) but also do private practice in Allergology! I REALLY enjoy my life and my 4 kids!!
Paul Roux - I specialised at Tygerberg and Red Cross Hospital between 1977 and 1980 and am now a senior paediatrician and senior lecturer (joint staff) in the South African public service and the University of Cape Town, working at Groote Schuur Hospital, running this hospital's paediatric HIV/AIDS service, which I set up in 1998; supporting anti-retroviral roll-out to children in metropolitan Cape Town and the rural Southern Cape; managing an NGO called Kidzpositive, which I helped set up in 2001; heading the paediatric rheumatology service, which I took over in 2002 and managing a general paediatric ward, which I took over in 1987. I would have liked to put it more poetically, but what can you do?
David Roy - I am the Medical Director and member of the Board of the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, one of the London's providers of Mental Health services (we have over 400 psychiatrists who keep me quite busy!); our Trust has close links to King's College Hospital, Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals, and the postgraduate Institute of Psychiatry; I also practice as a Consultant in Rehabilitation Psychiatry for part of the week in the London Borough of Lambeth; I did my psychiatric training at Guy's Hospital in the late seventies and have worked in London as a psychiatrist since that time.
Ivan Schewitz - In summary since 1974: Married Jackie. We have four children, two boys and two girls. I qualified as a cardiothoracic surgeon. Introduced minimally invasive thoracic surgery into South Africa (VATS or thoracoscopy). In private practice in Johannesburg. I have become a road runner completing seven Comrades Marathons to date. My present research interests are the detection of early lung cancer.
Peter Schwartz - Found the reunion to be almost a spiritual encounter and a reconnection with classmates as if we had never severed our links way back in 1974. Am in general medical practice in Port Elizabeth where I concentrate on aquatic and hyperbaric medicine, and mainly sports medicine having gone back to UCT in 1990 to do a course in sports medicine under Tim Noakes.
David Shlugman - Specialised in anaesthetics at Groote Schuur and Hammersmith Hospital, London. Spent 11 years in private anaesthetic group practice in Cape Town. Left South Africa in 1993 for a year's fellowship at Duke University, North Carolina with the intention of settling in the USA but combination of lack of jobs (Hilary Clinton reforming health system) plus lack of enthusiasm for American approach to medicine put paid to that. Moved to Oxford, UK where I have a consultant position at Radcliffe Infirmary with teaching commitment to medical students. Married with 3 teenage daughters.
Howard Shuman - The reunion was a very special occasion which I think left all of us very moved and with a little more than a few tears in our eyes. My story in one very long sentence is as follows: I left South Africa 3 days after graduation and come to live here in Israel, for ideological reasons. After studying Hebrew, and working on a Kibbutz for 6 months, I started my internship at Tel Hashomer Hospital in July 1975. On completion of my internship I went to England to specialise in Family Medicine and returned to Israel in 1979 and repeated my specialisation in Family Medicine to comply with Israeli requirements. I married Orna in 1981. I completed my military service in the Israel Air Force in 1982-1983 and continued to serve in the reserves, 45-90 days a year, until 1995. I went in to my own practise in 1984 and added a private practise in Homeopathy from 1988. I now work half a day as a regular Family Physician and half a day as a Homeopathic physician (go try and work out the difference). I keep myself sane by taking part in Triathlons and run up to and including marathons of which I have done 14 including London and New York. We have 3 sons, Daniel, the eldest, is near to completing his 3 years in the army and will be 21 in May. Jonathan is 17 and in Grade 11 at school. Gidon is 13 and in Grade 7 at school. Orna is self employed and works as a marketing and projects company. This has been a long sentence.
David Spencer - I'm currently in a private practice in Johannesburg. I trained at Wits in the 1980's as a physician and specialised in Oncology and Infectious Diseases with time overseas in these disciplines. Returned to SA in 1990 and became director of the HIV Unit at the Johannesburg Hospital/Wits until I left for private practice in 1997. Most of my work these days is with those who are HIV infected. I do a lot of teaching throughout Southern Africa and have just recently had my first book entitled "The Clinical Management of the HIV Infected" published locally. I am involved in several research projects in the field of HIV/AIDS and am busy with a chapter for a friend's book on "The Response to the Southern African AIDS Epidemic". I have remained happily single and have remained a committed Christian. My practice interfaces the broader issues of spirituality in medical practice and I am involved in these areas of healing within the community. During the 1980's I was involved in the Conscientious Objection and End Conscription Campaigns. During the end of the 1970's I spent some time in the UK doing theological studies. I am looking to retire in the near future in order to continue to write, if the HIV epidemic allows me the opportunity to take some time out.
Sharon Stein - Married Steve Schach 4 days after graduation in 1974. We have 2 children; David is 27 and Lauren is 24. We left to come and live in Nashville, Tennessee in 1983. Steve is in the Computer Science Department at Vanderbilt University, and I specialized in radiology at Vanderbilt, then did a paediatric radiology fellowship there as well. They asked me to stay on in the faculty where I am an Assoc Professor of Radiology and Paediatrics. I am very involved in resident education, and am an examiner for the American Board of Radiology. We love to travel, and in my spare time (not too much of that!!) I love to cook. Have even taken a couple of cooking courses in France and Italy.
Manfred Teichler - After house jobs in Groote Schuur Hospital and Tygerberg, I married Maja, a Swiss girl. We have had many adventures together: 1Â½ years in the Rhodesian Mission hospital, Gutu. After that the army sent me to Venda, where we stayed for the next 12 years. I was the superintendent of a 450-bed hospital. From 1990-97 I was at Medunsa Family Medicine Department. In 1997 we moved with our 4 children to Switzerland, where I am in private practice.
Revere Thomson - grew up in Bloemfontein, and went to St Andrew's School there until Matric. I was the youngest of 4 children. Father was an ENT specialist. Did MBChB at UCT - failed final year in 1974. Married Lorna at the end of the year. Qualified (eventually!) mid 1975. Went to Provincial Hospital, Port Elizabeth for internship. Did one year national service (last lot through for 1 year - after that became 2 years). Was actually a lot of fun - worked in all sorts of places one would normally not go to. Came back to Port Elizabeth - worked several years in Internal Medicine there. Decided to try specialising - got a registrar post in Medicine at Tygerberg Hospital. Worked as a medical registrar for one year - decided I did not like it - applied to UCT to do architecture(!). Was accepted, but could not get anywhere as I did not have income for full-time course. Worked instead as head of OPD at New Somerset Hospital. Close association with Prof Keeton, which was great, but thoroughly disliked the conveyer belt type of work at OPD. Then went to GSH where I worked as a medical officer in Management. I was involved in coordination of the rebuilding of the Old Main Building at GSH, as part of the Planning and Commissioning Unit. This did a lot to satisfy my architectural/creative/engineering interests. Did this for 2 years, but then had severe personality clash with the Senior Medical Superintendent that supervised me, and left GSH after 2 years. Was accepted at Tygerberg Hospital as a registrar in Community Health. Also did brief stint in Karl Bremer (rehabilitation unit). Obtained 2nd degree (M.Med. Community Health) atTygerberg Hospital. Started work as a Medical Superintendent at Tygerberg Hospital. Later promoted to Senior Medical Superintendent. And that is where I have stayed since. I am now part of senior management at TBH, and position is now called "Senior Clinical Executive". My work mainly involves supervision of Internal Medicine & Psychiatry, and a few smaller clinical disciplines. I also manage Clinical Engineering and the Planning and Commissioning Unit, as well as medical equipment prioritisation for the Western Cape. I have a special interest in typography and forms design, and am a proud user of Macintosh computers (viva la difference). I do a lot of photography, and will one day get back to painting and perhaps even making jewellery again. I have a particular interest in technology and science fiction. I have 3 children - one (Andrew) has completed Logistics and is working. The middle one (Nicky) is completing a B.Com, and the youngest (Cherie) is in 2nd year of a BSc (Food Science). All study/studied at Stellenbosch. My wife (Lorna) works as a research assistant at the MRC in Bellville. We go to the Baptist church.
Helen Wainwright - I am an anatomical pathologist at GSH, enjoying beautiful views of the mountain on my way to work each day, having spent 10 years in Johannesburg at Wits doing my pathology training and having three children.
Linda Wainwright - I'm a paediatric oncologist and I run the unit at the Chris-Hani-Baragwanath hospital.
Brian Warren - As houseman and military conscript, I was an aspirant gynaecologist but landed up training as a Surgeon at Tygerberg / University of Stellenbosch somewhat by accident. Basically I came here with the idea of staying 6-12 months to obtain surgical experience while waiting for an O & G registrar post at Groote Schuur - I never got there. When I left Tygerberg for the first and only time it was to spend time as a Medical Officer on a Namaqualand diamond mine to make some money and sort out my career path. After a year and a half there I knew I had to come back to academia before I became totally caught up in the rather decadent and alcohol-soaked lifestyle amidst the diamonds. I decided to come back to Surgery and to Tygerberg/University of Stellenbosch, which I have never regretted. I qualified as a Surgeon at the end of 1984 with an MMed (Chir) (cum laude) and Fellowships of the College of Surgeons of South Africa and of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. Since the beginning of 1985 I have been fulltime on the joint staff of Tygerberg Hospital / University of Stellenbosch in varying degrees of seniority (Senior Specialist 1987; Principal Specialist 1991; Associate Professor & Deputy Head of Department 1995 and now Professor & Chairman of the Department of Surgery since January 2002). As a young consultant I spent time doing bits and pieces of everything in the field of surgery but gravitated towards Surgery of the biliary tract and pancreas as my main interest. This was reinforced by a 3 month visit as SAGES fellow to the hepato biliary pancreatic unit at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in 1989. When laparoscopic cholecystectomy arrived it was a natural outcome of my biliary interest that I became involved in the establishment of a surgical laparoscopic / endoscopic unit within my department and I was also a founder and later president of the South African Society of Endoscopic Surgeons (SASES). I don't think that I am the most dexterous endoscopic surgeon around, but nonetheless our laparoscopic unit has grown to embrace virtually all procedures possibly conducted endoscopically within the field of general surgery. My favourite operation is however, an open one (even though its laparoscopic conduct has been described) namely Whipple pancreaticoduodenectomy of which we now have a series of 70 odd patients. During the last 10 years I have become increasingly involved in medico legal issues and this takes up a lot of my spare time (and annual leave to attend court proceedings). Nonetheless the work is fascinating and does generate a bit of pocket money. Most of the working day is now occupied with desk work involved in administering a department, but I escape as often as I can to do those things I really enjoy - seeing patients, operating and teaching.