From Teviot Place to Texas and Tasmania
Fifty years on since they scribbled witty comments in the traditional yearbook, the MBChB class of 1965 reunited in Edinburgh this summer.
For committed organisers and great friends Dr Lucile MacLeod and Dr Mike Dixon; the fiftieth anniversary reunion of the class of 1965 was just the latest of several since the very first in 1975. Having stayed in close contact since graduating and moving into houses opposite each other in Loanhead, Lucile MacLeod accredits their run of successful reunions down to good team work and great friendships.
A career in medicine does not leave much time to spare so the organisers have not been surprised that attendances have gone up since class mates have reached retirement age. With attendees travelling from as far flung locations as Texas, Tasmania, Sydney and Barbados - the air miles are testament not only to the lasting friendships and happy memories of Edinburgh, but also to the organisational efforts of Lucile and Mike.
Even in these days of email and Skype it’s still nice to sit down over a coffee or a meal and catch up on news face to face.
A golden celebration
To mark the fiftieth anniversary of their graduation from the University, over 120 graduates and their partners enjoyed dinner at the Balmoral Hotel, exactly 50 years to the day since graduation, and a special brunch at the New Club, Edinburgh.
Amongst the gathering were Anna and John Holmes from New Zealand who, as well as agreeing to provide a sequel to the cherished 1965 yearbook, were also celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. They weren't the only couple celebrating this marital milestone, organisers Mike and Judy Dixon also celebrated their golden wedding anniversary over the Summer.
While many familiar faces from previous reunions returned, there were also a few for whom it was their first trip to Edinburgh since graduating in 1965.
Memories of a medical student
During the reunion dinner, current Postgraduate Dean, Professor Stuart MacPherson spoke to guests about what it is like to be a medical student in 2015, which inspired much reminiscing about the same status five decades ago. Whilst teaching styles may have changed and facilities updated, it was agreed that there is still something that is distinctly
Edinburgh about being a medical student in the city.
Dr Barry Moscrop of Sydney fondly recalled elements of this enduring experience including the first glimpse of the castle when arriving at Waverley Station, the pubs in the Rose Street and rugby internationals at Murrayfield.
Other memories were more rooted in the 1960s including those of Alison Dark, who travelled to the reunion from Michigan, USA. Her memories included,
trying to keep up with the respected and renowned Professor George Romanes as he taught in the Anatomy Lecture Theatre, RAG Week parades, Border Raids and student accommodation in both Cowan House and Muir Hall.
Happy couples and friends for life
There may have only been the one golden wedding anniversary that fell in the fiftieth reunion year but amongst the year group Lucile happily recalls many married couples and long standing friendships that have survived the test of time. As classmates and their respective partners return to Edinburgh again and again, friendships continue to grow, photo collections expand and more happy memories are made.
I realised that while we are all older and more worn, in essence we are all still the same. I really enjoyed long chats with several classmates and hearing about where life has taken them.