Reunions held in 2006: Class of 1981

24 - 26 November 2006

By Martin Brossy


Chris Adam, Mark Addison, Sandra Berman, Mary Boltman, Martin Brossy, Hilary Brumberg (Kaube), Robbie Buck, Bashir Bulbulia, Trevor Campbell, Mohamed Chhaya, Paul Ciapparelli, Graham Ducasse, Johan Duflou, Mike Eddles, Rodney Esau, Robin Fainsinger, Mick Forder, Cathy Fraser, David Gale, Dawn Garisch, David Gotlieb, Raymond Gottschalk, Colin Grindlay, Charles Helm, Alan Hill, Bruce Hodkinson, Andrew Hooper, Paul Jurgens, Tony Keene, Lynne Keeton, Shelley Kibel, Peter Kraus, Mark Kumleben, Viv Llewellyn, Matt McNally, Nigel Myers, Stuart Patterson, Eleanor Potter, John Pridgeon, Theo Rai, Charles Roberts, Mike Rout, Lesley Russell, Sadick Saban, Raoul Scholtz, Cindy Shepherd, Carol Smith, Georg Strobele, Helen Stubbings, Steve Taylor, Trevor Terblanche, Mike van der Wal, Nick van Diggelen, Darryl Vine, Mark Wates, Carl Wicht, Roger Wolfsohn

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

Once again, a HUGE thank you to all of you who travelled from all over the world back to good old UCT, especially the lively Canadian contingent. It is the commitment and effort of the "buitelanders" returning to Cape Town to join in the fun that makes the Reunion the very special gathering that it is (was).

Everyone that attended will agree that it was indeed a VERY SPECIAL weekend - quite emotional and obviously nostalgic and very much treasured by all classmates that gave us feedback. From start to finish each event was memorable: the Friday afternoon walk in Cecilia forest guided by "Duiker" Dawn Garish; Friday evening cocktails at UCT with a memorable speech by Solly Benatar; the talents, oratory and photographic skills displayed by every speaker in our academic programme on Saturday morning - quite amazing diversity and achievements that we all felt quite proud of. It seems as though we were quite a class and there was, and is, an amazing bond that unites us all: the 6 years of very hard work and very hard play; some were better workers and others keener on playing.

The Academic programme was, once again, fascinating (as was the case at the 2001 reunion).

Jo Duflou delivered graphic slides and descriptions of his forensic pathology work recovering WW2 Australian pilots from the jungles of Borneo and Papua New Guinea as well as reconstructing the Bali suicide bomber's heads and faces for identification - quite a unique career.

Rob Fainsinger gave insights into palliative care and some innovations in his good work at his institution in cold Canada.

Cathy Fraser has pioneered the Sydney "Australian Doctor's Orchestra" and musical meetings in other States and, together with Shelly Kibel, treated us to a violin duet - what talent!

Dawn Garisch bravely recited some of her poetry and showed that the arts can complement life in the fast (medical) lane - she also writes children's stories, and does casualty work.

Dave Gotlieb reviewed the anti-inflammatory saga's of the past decade - some interesting "current affairs" and medical politics by a rheumatological authority with his own website.

Raymond Gottschalk showed the "frightening connection between Sleep and Inflammation" and warned on the perils of obesity, especially the American supersize variety, in a masterly display of oratory skill.

Charles Helm again inspired us with his energy and enthusiasm in bringing up a healthy family, making "rural medicine in the Canadian Rockies" work for the community and himself. He has also led the archeological discovery of a treasure trove of fossils, dinosaurs and coelacanths included, in nearby mountains and repeated invitations to the whole class to join him at the "dig".

Bruce Hodkinson unfortunately had to fly back to Johannesburg after his business premises was cleared out of computers in a violent crime on the Friday - a fairly typical day in the new South Africa; so we missed his talk on "Business and Medicine".

Paul Jurgens gave us a brief outline of the merits of digital versus conventional photography and we first viewed slides of embarrassing moments of us as silly students, and then life in the Rockies.

Tony Keene, from his position of unbiased slave Anaesthetist, logically went through the options that some of us may face soon: the uncomfortable choice of stenting or coronary artery bypass - I think we all feel more comfortable now?

Stuart Patterson reminded us that we have underestimated the academic potential of all Durban surfing students, with some scientific material about the elbow and his studies on radial head arthroplasty. I noticed all Natalians looking brighter!

Sadick Saban discussed "Behaviour Change" in a simple and illuminating manner that all of us can apply in our practices, either specialist or GP. Coming to think of it, we can use these principles in our daily lives too.

Then things got heavy? Not so! Roger Wolfsohn related anecdotes in his career of psychiatry in New York, including 911 and turned several drug treatment myths on their heads - delightful.

Martin Brossy closed the meeting with the good and bad of "wine and medicine". Wine is not medicine but does help soothe the pain. Memories of "Tassies" and "Old Brown Sherry" confirmed the long-held views of most classmates' of the medicinal value of wine.

"Tut groups reconstituted in the lecture hall, as if 25 years was 25 days with some groups very well represented, thanks to the commitment of many Canadians and Americans, 1 Scotswoman and an Englishman, several Aussies, many Natalians, even a couple of Joburgers. Sadly no Kiwi's or other lands represented. Thanks guys and girls for your efforts - we all really valued our time together. As stated previously, it was quite emotional and special. Some of us may have improved with age.

The "Formal Dinner" at Smuts Hall residence was an evening to remember with the "Mighty Microbe", Prof Arderne Forder, entertaining us with bacteriological anecdotes. Charles Roberts toasted the honourable "Madiba", Nelson Mandela, and the ANC for their roles in creating a New South Africa and remembered the hardships of the "Previously Disadvantaged".

The Sunday guided tour of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and social lunch in their new restaurant capped a great weekend - just great! Thanks again to everybody who made the huge effort to attend - we Capetonians merely had to organise the programme to make it as attractive as possible to lure you all back "home" for a short visit. The main highlight was, of course, just seeing each other once again. Next time will definitely be 2011, our 30th. Bring the kids! Thanks to Joan Tuff for her great organisation and friendly reminders to us all from time to time.

To those who missed the Reunion - DON'T miss the next one. It is a truly uplifting experience and encourages one to be proud of UCT: of our valued teachers, of our classmates and in fact anyone linked to UCT and hopefully the future generations. We can still play a valuable role in helping UCT in the future - by our interest, by physical work, by donations to the Alumni Fund and other means.