The Faculty of Health Sciences made merry on 6 June - 100 years to the day since the opening of the Anatomical and Physiological Laboratories on what is now the university's Hiddingh Campus, marking the official establishment of the UCT Medical School - as it continued its centenary celebrations.
Memory lane: Alumni, staff and members of the public toured the Medical School's original buildings on Hiddingh campus.
Etched in paper: Vice-chancellor Dr Max Price and faculty dean Prof Marian Jacobs with the commemorative stamp launched during the centenary celebrations.
The celebrations had actually kicked off at Hiddingh the night before, with a commemorative tour of the buildings. Professor Howard Phillips of the Department of Historical Studies and Emeritus Professor David Dent of the Department of Surgery led the walkabout, screened video clips, and relayed memorable stories of the founding of the medical school.
The official function that followed on 6 June was attended by alumni, staff, academics and guests from fellow universities, as well as a procession of dignitaries, including the Deputy Mayor of Cape Town, Alderman Neilson; Premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille; and Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Gwen Ramokgoba. Neilson, Zille and Ramokgoba were joined on the podium by UCT Chair of Council, Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane; former head of medicine and former vice-chancellor Professor Emeritus Stuart Saunders; and vice-chancellor Dr Max Price.
In turn, Neilson, Zille and Ramokgoba sang the praises of the faculty on the behalf of, respectively, the city, province and the country. They hailed its pioneering work, and the contributions its scholars have made over the past 100 years.
"UCT's medical school is an asset to the country," said Ramokgoba.
Between speeches, the South African Post Office also launched a commemorative postal stamp to mark the school's centenary. The stamp features a mosaic by artist Lovell Friedman that represents one HIV-positive person's struggle for - and celebration of - life. Only 50,000 copies of the stamp will be sold.
"As the oldest medical school in sub-Saharan Africa, we can look back at what we achieved with great pride," said faculty dean, Professor Marian Jacobs. The celebrations, she added, is a way to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and build the future.
With the formalities and a cocktail function wrapped up, the gowns and hoods made way for party shoes as the sounds of Freshly Ground filled Barnard Fuller quad well into the evening.