Reunion roundup

Reunions held in 2005: Class of 1965

15 - 17 December 2005

A summary by David Beatty and Solly Benatar


Ernest Bass, Geoff Bax, Dave Beatty, Solly Benatar, Ronnie Blair, Bernard Brom, Bruce Chipps, Rob Crozier, Richard Erskine, Annette Esselaar, Offie Fehrsen, Gadija Galvaan, Peter Goldswain, Phil Gordon, John Graham, Paddy Hartley, Arthur Helman, Andy Hillock, Joe Horner, Robert Jedeikin, Ann Kench, Joseph Levenstein, Peter Matthews, Maureen Michaels, Sakkie Minnaar, Peter Mitchell, Mel Pichanick, Neville Pokroy, Tony Robertson, Colin Sinclair-Smith, Joe Skowno, Cato van Wyk, Len Weinstein, Ian Whitton, Fahmi Williams, Ian Yudelman

(Click on the image to see a large version.)

Academic Meeting Programme

  1. Baptists and Tourists - That's Dementia Language! - Peter Goldswain
  2. Morbid Obesity - Why Gastric Banding - Joe Horner
  3. Trans-cultural Medicine - Peter Matthews
  4. The Changing Face of Psychiatry in the 21st Century - John Graham
  5. Aging- Tony Robertson
  6. Dementia for Dummies - Arthur Helman
  7. A New Paradigm for Medicine - Joseph Levenstein
  8. Health in the 21st Century - Solly Benatar
  9. Acute Pain Management; In a Nut Shell - Robert Jedeikin
  10. Reflections over 40 years - All classmates


The class of '65 celebrated its 40th anniversary in Cape Town from 15 - 17th December. Thirty-six members of the class attended, many with their spouses. They came from Canada, the United States, Australia, Israel, Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom to renew acquaintances with old friends, revisit old haunts in the city and country and to reflect on personal, institutional, national and global changes that had taken place since we were students.

The reunion was characterized by being low profile, highly sociable, filled with warm and reflective interactions between old friends, brief descriptions of some of the highlights of people's work and lives and recognition of our successes and failures. Most importantly we were able to reminisce about our years as students and celebrate our privilege in having been educated at UCT and having had the opportunity to strive to reach our potential in life and medical practice.

We spoke about absent friends, both those who had died prematurely and those who were unable to attend. Sadness and remorse were also expressed about the apartheid environment that had shaped our lives, most particularly those in our class who were discriminated against, but this was done graciously and with sensitivity rather than acrimony. The opportunity to mention such influences in our lives in addition to hearing excellent presentations on such topics as aging, dementia, new approaches to obesity, trans-cultural considerations in medical practice, future challenges for psychiatry, pain relief and a new paradigm for medicine made for a most enjoyable experience.


1965 cocktails
1965 cocktails

The programme included a Welcome breakfast and get together at the Technikon Hotel School at Granger Bay, a tour of new developments at Medical School including an excellent talk on the New Learning Centre and Curriculum by Prof Graham Louw and a visit to the Transplant Museum and Library. The Dean, Prof Gonda Perez, hosted a cocktail party in the new Institute of Infectious Diseases complex, which included the class of 1955, and made us all welcome.

The highlight of the meeting was the academic meeting where we heard excellent, amusing and informative talks by class members and we could have allocated more time than a morning to this. Further talks were given after the dinner and the weekend ended off with a delightful and informal lunch at Kirstenbosch.

Messages of support and apologies were received from the following who were unable to attend:

Vic Amato, Joel Bortz, John Dommisse, Solly Epstein, John Filmer, Bernie Gersh, Mervyn Jordan, Barry Kassar, Merle Keough (wife of late John Keough), Louise Ladbrook (Fulford), Sheila Lewin, Colin MacKenzie, Priyavadan Manilal, Louis Marais, Justen Passwell, Areti Philotheou, Mahendra Ranchod, Gavin Scholfield, Edward Stewart-Wynne, Ray van der Valk, Naomi Waldbaum (Kass).

We wish to thank Joan Tuff for all her excellent organization and UCT for providing the facility to have such reunions.