Reunion reports - 2012

1987 graduates celebrate 25 year reunion, November 2012

1987 reunion

The Sydney Harbour Marriott at Circular Quay was the glamorous setting for the Class of 1987 25-year reunion, held on November 9, 2012. About 120 people attended to catch up with colleagues, renew old friendships and test our memories of the names and faces of classmates who we may not have seen for over 25 years. It was an opportunity to reminisce about the university days when we were younger and fitter, but perhaps not particularly wiser, even though we thought we were at the time.

The laughing and camaraderie on the night was a testament to how close knit a group we all are, despite time and distance. Graduates came from as far as Canada for the event with a strong Australian contingent from Perth and Adelaide. Kerwin Shannon, the MC for the evening reminded us of how it really was back in our university days, and how medicine and the world has changed so remarkably since we graduated.

We took some time to reflect on the life of our dear colleague Toni Medcalf who passed away earlier in the year and to hear about the formation of the Toni Medcalf Foundation in her memory.
One mark of a good function is how many people hang around until the early hours to party on, something many of us do not do very often. There were plenty who continued the festivities at the lounge downstairs, where talk already turned to planning for the next reunion in five years.

Leena Gupta, Michelle Crockett, Anne Horsley

1951 graduates celebrate 61 year reunion, November 2012

1951 reunion

We gathered from 11.30, and enjoyed drinks and renewing contacts in a very congenial environment, and were seated at pre-arranged table groups, by 12.30. We were welcomed by our effervescent M.C. Harry Learoyd who expressed our thanks to Marie Knispel, as, by virtue of her membership and attendance, saved us $250.
Ian Fitzpatrick noted that of our 230 fellow graduates, it seems only about 70 remain, and 33 managed to attend. He thanked all who came, including Glen Duncan from USA, Dick Geeves from Tasmania, 22 partners and also widows Cathy Kalokerinos, Shirley Michell, Margaret Scrivener and Helen Vickery.
Your committee worked energetically to contact some for whom the University did not have details. The great help by the Alumni Office for all recent reunions was recognised. We were not charged for the two mailouts, nor for handling income and expenses on our behalf, so I am sure the Medical School would appreciate any donations to the Research Scholarship Funds.
Ian gave a message from Professor Fred Stephens, unable to come because of a recent pelvic fracture, and quoted an amusing story from his latest (2011) book, an autobiography “From Kurmond Kid to Cancer Crusader”.
Between courses, Joy Bearup (Boughton) read a poem composed for our previous reunion, and Professor Geoff Kellerman proposed a Toast to Absent Colleagues, noting that Archie Kalokerinos was the very first Alumni Awardee, ( for Community Achievement). He also gave preliminary notice re the Memorial Service for Emeritus Professor Paul Korner.
We had messages of goodwill and apologies from abroad - Sonia Goldman (Hadar)–in Haifa , Israel, Audrey Halloran (Van Wijk)-in Stellenbosch, and Bob Packard, (U.K.). Locally, Paul Bannon, Trevor Brown, Marjorie Christie, Tony Jones, Roly Middleton, Brian O’Sullivan, Ron Rivett, Brian Sharkey, Ros Shearer, Barry Smithurst (who has ataxia from encephalitis contracted in Vietnam), John Voss, and Arthur Pennington.
After desert, tea, coffee and chocolates, we had extended time for further mingling.
It was generally agreed that the Club, staff, chef and environment were excellent and a survey favoured a repeat at Concord Golf Club in two years.
We appear to have virtually broken even for costs, so that it is proposed to donate a major portion of our accumulated reserve (circa $1,500) to the Medical Benevolent Association and to post a copy of the group photo without charge to all who came or sent greetings.
I record my sincere thanks for the ready help, guidance and encouragement of our committee : Eleanor Dawson, Dorothy Morrison, Doug Caspersonn, Anthony Hodgkinson, Geoffrey Kellerman, Harry Learoyd and John Roche.

With best wishes to all

Ian W. Fitzpatrick

Ph. 02 9969 7876 ( 9 Coronation Avenue, Mosman,2088)

1977 graduates celebrate 35 year reunion, November 2012

1977 reunion

The 35th reunion of the 1977 medical school graduation year was held at the Great Hall on Saturday, 3rd November , 2012 with around 140 attendees.

It was a clear and balmy night as we approached the group of “mature aged “men and women, all looking relaxed and comfortable. Chatter and laughter filled the air. The mood was upbeat but calm, with quiet moments to reflect on those no longer with us. As always some “tall tales” were told and there were mirthful whispers of long ago scandals, there was no need to impress- rather, old and new friends shared yarns about family, friends, work, hobbies and relaxation.

Many looked fitter than they had 10 years ago, mostly due to some serious exercise /health maintenance or just good genes! Interestingly, most of us are still working fairly long hours in clinical and/or academic medicine and making a significant contribution ,each in one’s own quiet way.
A few have climbed the mighty cliffs of administration and policy…

The invited speakers were Pat McGorry and Austin Curtin. Pat gave a memorable talk about his year in the spotlight as “Australian of the Year 2010”. He left us with some sensible advice about how we SHOULD be behaving 35 years down the track. Austin gave an entertaining talk about life as a general surgeon in regional Australia(Lismore ) and his role in advocating for improved and enhanced rural health services(which he has done with considerable success.) He also demonstrated his previously unknown ability to keep items of interest for posterity! These included the 1975 psychiatry exam papers which were a source of significant interest to the group!

The University songs were the usual hit with Amy, the organist, leading the rousing singers.
Very special thanks are due to the Medical faculty and Alumni office for their superb organisation skills in bringing this event to fruition.
It was really lovely to see everyone in such good spirits and generally looking happy, youthful and well... at least in our presbyopic eyes!! We are obviously doing something right!

Hopefully the 40th reunion in 2017 will attract an even bigger crowd. At this stage we will probably continue with the same format with venue and catering unless the organising committee is swamped with requests for something different!!

Tony Joseph, Helen Somerville

1992 graduates celebrate 20 year reunion, February 2012

1992 reunion

At the end of a wet summer, the 1992 graduating year were blessed with a lovely dry evening for our reunion on February 25th. We had planned to be in the Great Hall, but instead spilled out into the Great Quad where we could better hear the Carillon being played and enjoy the warm twilight.
Just over one hundred people attended including many who passed in or out of our year as they took time off to undertake academic and not-so-academic adventures.
It was wonderful to catch up, if briefly, with people with whom we spent such a formative time. Despite the passing of many years, there was a palpable feeling of an easy bond - and lapsed friendship flooded back, bringing with it a lot of laughter and noisy reminiscing. As a group, we appear to have changed little: we may be mid-40s but we look and feel fabulous!
We would like to thank everyone who attended, especially those who made a great effort and travelled long distances to be there.
We would also like to warmly thank the Medical Alumni Association who managed the lion’s share of the logistics, and made the task not too onerous. There is already thought of a silver anniversary in 5 years’ time, instead of waiting another 10!

John Kennedy, Harry Koumoukelis, Silvia Fragiacomo

1967 graduates celebrate 45 year reunion, March 2012

1967 reunion

Eighty six members of the graduating class of 1967 gathered with their partners at the Crowne Plaza, Coogee, on the night of 17 March 2012 to celebrate forty five years since finishing the medical course. This was our fifth get-together and was as different as all the rest had been from each other. Now that most of us have rounded up our careers and have found satisfaction in grandchildren and post-medicine activities the mood of the night was one of relaxed friendly interaction throughout. No sense of needing to reveal achievement; no undercurrents of rivalry. Just a pervading warmth and a feeling that it was a pity more friends couldn’t have been there to enjoy the occasion.
What about previous reunions? The first, in 1977, at the old Sebel Town House, saw members eyeing each other to see if there was evidence of developing career greatness. At the former Regent Hotel in 1987 we were resplendent in evening attire and may have begun to exude a whiff of success. At the Canberra Hyatt in 1997 we heard from some of our members tales of interests and achievements. The atmosphere was more relaxed (we were all now in the grooves of our respective careers, with little need to highlight any level we may have arrived at). The occasional speaker, ABC commentator Paul Lyneham, gave an acerbic, yet well received, review of some aspects of our craft. Then at our last reunion in 2007 in the Hunter Valley we heard about some colleagues’ non-medical pursuits such as the growing of wine grapes and the collecting of chatelaines. Clearly we were beginning to broaden our interests!
The event on 17 March last will be remembered for its informality, its fine food and, of course, the swapping of anecdotes of events past and present. From my own perspective I went away feeling that I’d had too little time to speak with too few people. Not only am I looking forward with pleasure and anticipation to the next event in 2017, I am determined to improve contact with those of my medical friends whose company gave me pleasure on the night and, in particular, those who I would dearly have loved to spend time with who could not be there.
Bring on the fiftieth!

Ian Stewart

1950 graduates celebrate 62 year reunion, March 2012

1950 reunion

The Year that commenced medical studies in 1944 celebrated its 62nd anniversary of graduation with lunch at Concord Golf Club on Tuesday March 13, 2012. There have been several distinguishing features of this particular Year: (a) as undergrads we welcomed two sets of newcomers to our midst, the first were ex-servicemen who had been medical students before enlisting and the second were displaced refugee doctors from Europe after the conclusion of WW2, required by Australian Government regulations to attend the last three years of the medical course before registration (b) whereas some other groups have rarely met, this was our 13th time to foregather, and (c) we have never had invited speakers, preferring to indulge our own friendships.
Considering that our mean age now hovers around the mid-eighties, we were delighted to have 25 attendees which, when added to the 21 who tendered an apology, meant we had contact with about 70% of our 67 survivors. Nothing daunted by what Douglas Miller once referred to as ‘pathological delapidation’ facing our members, it was enthusiastically resolved to (try to) meet again in two years, in the same place.

Brian Pollard

1952 graduates celebrate 60 year reunion, March 2012

1952 reunion

On Friday, 23 March, 2012, 49 members of the Sydney Medical School graduating class of 1952 met in the refectory in the Holme Building for lunch. We were accompanied by several relatives, friends and carers. A further twenty graduates sent apologies. As one might expect at a 60th reunion, we were all in our eighties and nineties, but definitely growing old gracefully and actively. A few are still working a couple of days a week. Most of us came from suburban Sydney, but there were 14 from country N.S.W., and Pam Donnelly (nee Hawke) came from Bundaberg, Warwick Steele from Fremantle and John Duke from beautiful, historic Norfolk Island. There were only seven girls.

As we gathered for drinks and nibbles in the Withdrawing Room, the refectory supervisor suggested that, considering our seniority, we should sit down at the dining tables and our enjoy our appetisers there. This was an excellent decision as it was easier to move around seeing people but having a comfortable base to which to return. We enjoyed hearing about the interests of our colleagues and successes of their children and grandchildren. There was a bit of discussion about the registration of retired doctors but no resolution of the problem. However, judging by the noise, we are still in good voice and spirits. We were served a delicious meal by the excellent staff of the refectory and enjoyed a glass or two of wine from the University’s cellars?

To our surprise and pleasure, we were visited by two first-year medical students, both from the USA but studying in Sydney. Gilbert Wallace summed up some of our thoughts: “One noticeable characteristic of all who were there is that they were slim. Who of us in 1952 would have predicted that obesity would be almost the major problem sixty years later? Cancer was to have been cured by the end of the century, and who thought of overpopulation? I envied those two medical students who came in, what will it be like in sixty-four years’ time, when they are celebrating their 60th? Hope they have fun, as we did, and hope there’s still some to come.”

We are grateful to the Medical Alumni Association, who organized the reunion for us, and met graduates as they arrived at the Holme Building. Please keep your details up to date with the University. This is important as we found a number of our class had been removed from the University address list, presumably because the journal, SAM, had been returned ‘Address Unknown’ when a new address had not been advised.
We hope the next reunion can be organized for 2014.

Monica Bullen