Reunion roundup

Reunions held in 2011: Class of 1996 reunion

18 - 20 November 2011

By: Lloyd Tooke and Malikah van der Schyff

1996 class photo

Rahmat Abbas, Russell Botes, David Carman, Kirsten Cohen, Karen Cohen, Jason Coventry, Garth Davids, Ceiridwen Davies, Ajit Daya, Roger Duckitt, Sascha Edelstein, Tracy Ellenbogen, Julie Etellin, Suzanne Finlayson, Simon Gane, Brian Gundry, Stephen Hartwig, Muhammad (Yusuf Hassan), Marc Hendricks, Sarah Howard, Craig Jamieson, Jan Kuehne, Jenny Le Roux (Nash), Elizabeth Lunt, Nadia Mehl, Craig Milne, Shuaib Moerat, Farzana Mohideen (Botes), Zakir Mowzer, Colin Padoa, Anita Parbhoo, Ghadija Parker, Malika Patel, Barbara Pierce, Linda Rogers, Junaid Sarvan, Claudia Schulze, Michael Skriker, Christine Tomcheck, Lloyd Tooke, Tanya Triani, Malikah van der Schyff, Richard von Bormann, Tereza Whittaker, Tracy Wieselthaler, Dayle Zieff.

"Time moves in one direction, memory in another." - William Gibson

It had been nearly 15 years since we graduated, splendid in our black and red, and yet a common thread amongst the class of '96 was how quickly the time had flown. The years had been kind to most and it was amazing how little some had changed.

We gathered at the Wolfson Pavilion (a beautiful new building on medical campus) on Friday evening where cocktails and snacks were interspersed with the inevitable questions of where are you now, what are you doing and where is ... (insert name of classmate here). Many travelled from around the country to attend and a few (Roger Duckitt, Tracy Ellenbogen, Liz Bate (Lunt) and Craig Milne) flew all the way from England and Stephen Hartwig from Western Australia. We heard news of our colleagues scattered around the world with the big 3 of UK, USA and Australia having welcomed most of them. About 8 worked at Groote Schuur/Red Cross/UCT. Those that specialised had gone into many different disciplines but the popular choices seemed to be paediatrics, obstetrics and anaesthetics.

Prof Mohamed Jeebhay from Public Health welcomed us on behalf of the Dean and updated us on the achievements and vision for the university and the Faculty of Health Sciences in particular. It was great to have some of our professors from medical school - namely Profs Knobel, Louw, Seggie, de Groot and Immelman. They shared some memories, wise words and the occasional slightly inappropriate story with us.

The Saturday morning brought some wonderful weather and most people chose to do their own thing but a small group of us met at the revamped Rhodes memorial restaurant and enjoyed some good food in beautiful surroundings.

The highlight of the weekend was the formal dinner on Saturday night at Smuts Hall. There was lots of laughter, reminiscing and great food. Some of those present who had done something interesting or different were asked (at very short notice) to share with us what they had done. Craig Milne told us about working on the cruise liners, Muhammad (Yusuf) Hassan shared what it was like to be the team doctor for the 2007 Rugby World Cup winning team, Ajit Daya informed us about his experiences with bariatric medicine and Marc Hendricks explained how he transitioned from full-time musician to paediatric oncologist!

Craig Jamieson (we couldn't have a class meeting without him standing in front) introduced Tim Noakes who was an excellent guest speaker. Always entertaining and not afraid to be slightly controversial, Tim threw some doubt on the results of the recent rugby world cup and then proceeded to tell us much of what we were taught about diet and heart disease was not true. It seems like carbohydrate and not fat is the enemy and for those who are carbohydrate intolerant a diet of fish, meat, vegetables, nuts, dairy and eggs is the key to losing weight and feeling great. Most stayed until after midnight and it really was a super evening. The Sunday Kirstenbosch picnic gathering was rained out but the weekend was still a success.

Many thanks to: Joan Tuff for all the help with organising and Skhumbuzo Ngozwana from Cipla Medpro for sponsoring the drinks.

Till next time.

"We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right" - Nelson Mandela