It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of John Davies on Saturday, August 16, 2008 after a short illness. John was born March 11, 1933, in South Africa, twin son of the deceased Dorothy Sarah and James (Steve) Llewellyn Davies. Adored husband of Wendy. Cherished Dad of Pam Lewis (Lawrie) and Christopher Davies (Mary). Predeceased by infant son Richard Davies. Devoted grandpa to James and Olivia Lewis and Megan, Jason, Abbie and Lauren Davies. Brothers to twin Allan and Colin; uncle to Michael (Elna), and Brian; great uncle to Matthew, Rhodeen, Gregory and Christian Davies in South Africa; uncle to Andy (adri) Davies in Ontario. John came to Canada on a J.C.I. bursary (S. A.) to take his Master of Mining at McGill. John enjoyed a long rewarding career with Noranda Inc., lastly as V. P. Noranda Minerals. He had a rich, fulfilling retirement as a committed Rotarian (former President, Mississauga, Lakeshore, and recipient of the Paul Harris Award), a competitive curler (Mississauga Club), golfer, constant servant to the community, faithful member of The Church of St. Bride, astute investor, inveterate lover of nature, mining engineer to the core, world traveller, voice of reason and above all a very loving, giving family man and friend. In all he did, John epitomized the Rotary motto “service before self”.
A senior workshop technician in the School of Physiology and a Wits staff member for over 25 years, Willie de Bruin died unexpectedly on 20 February 2011, aged 55. Born 4 April 1955, De Bruin first joined Wits in May 1982 as a senior technician in the Estates and Building’s heating and ventilation department. He resigned in August 1988 to relocate to Cape Town, but returned to Johannesburg in 1992 when he rejoined Wits as a senior workshop technician in the School of Physiology. He became head of the school’s workshop in 1998. A skilful technician, De Bruin supported the research efforts of academic staff by designing and making research equipment such as respirometry boxes, head plates for animals and running wheels for small rodents, which enabled research.
Multiple alumna and long-term staff member Moira Lynette De Groot (BA 1976, PDE 1976, BA Hons 1979, BEd 1987, MEd 1998) died on 22 March 2009, aged 55. De Groot's five degrees from Wits spanned the fields of English, psychology and education. A Wits member of staff since 1991, she made significant contributions to teaching and learning in the Faculty of Humanities. She joined the Wits staff as an academic development tutor in psychology and moved to the Teaching and Learning Unit in 1997. She enjoyed working collaboratively and her research interest often focused on the role of student, staff and peer mentoring. Described by colleagues as the ultimate mentor, De Groot not only instructed in how or what to teach, but set an example that demonstrated how to communicate ideas and teach difficult concepts. Despite her considerable achievements, she was modest and never sought accolades. She found fulfilment in finding strengths in children written off by the schooling system and in identifying students from disadvantaged backgrounds with the ability and motivation to succeed at university.
William John Diamond, M.D., world expert in Integrated Medicine, pioneered a new class of patient treatment incorporating Western and Eastern medicine. With absolute confidence that he could, Dr. Diamond traveled four continents, read mountains of books, traded thoughts with countless fellow healers, and treated tens of thousands of patients over forty years to discover just how the human body truly works. Dr. Diamond dedicated his life to the service of his fellow human beings so that we could all live healthier and more fulfilling lives. He did it all with humor and style.
On December 6, 2009, John died peacefully surrounded by his loving family following a brave battle with cancer. John was born on March 28, 1948 in Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa. Growing up in a very humble single-parent home in conservative South Africa was difficult and John found both solace and an outlet for his eagerly intelligent mind in books. After matriculating with distinction from Park Town Boys' High School, John was conscripted into the South African Army, Army Gymnasium and Presidential Guard. Upon encountering the army doctors, John announced with his typical irreverence that If those guys can be doctors, then so can I.
Using his keen intellect and superhuman capacity for work, John earned a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry in 1970 and an Honors Bachelor of Science in Physiological Chemistry in 1973, both from University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. To pay his way through medical school, John worked three jobs and studied over-night seven days a week. His good humor and perseverance paid off, in 1973 John earned a M.B., B.Ch., from the University of the Witwatersrand and became a physician. His internship was served in medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology at Edendal Hospital, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, and his residence in clinical pathology (clinical hematology and clinical chemistry) was at Groote Schuur Hospital of the University of Cape Town Medical School, Cape Town, South Africa in 1975 and 1976.
John loved his native country, but he understood that it did not embrace that brand of freedom that would reward his optimistic and inspired mind. John was offered a residency in Anatomical Pathology at Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York, U.S.A. When asked why he chose America, John replied Freedom and rock n roll America! What more do you need? At twenty- eight years of age, John boarded a flight for New York City with the shirt on his back, an education and his eyes trained on the American dream.
John was not alone for his American adventure. He married his college sweetheart, Barbara Anne Connellan, in 1972. Several weeks after he moved to New York, Barbara joined him with their three year-old son David and newborn daughter Jane.
In 1977, John became a Clinical Fellow at the Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. While in Maryland, John and Barbara welcomed into the world their son Rory. Following his service at the N.I.H. John became an Associate Professor of Pathology at the State University of New York, Syracuse.
In 1981, John and his young family moved to Reno, NV. On his initial visit to the Biggest Little City, John walked down the airplane stairs and saw a bright blue sky and a rainbow spanning the sky-he was home.
For eight years John worked as a pathologist in Reno. John loved pathology because each case represented a mystery to be solved. Yet, his natural, intense intellectual curiosity could not be contained by the precepts of traditional medicine. After falling ill and finding that his physicians didn't listen to him and just couldn't understand the nature of disease, John struck gold and discovered his life's purpose. For the remainder of his days, John spent virtually every waking moment researching the human body, disease, stress and the mind- body connection.
For twenty years John traveled the world educating himself in homeopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture and literally every type of healing attempted by anyone, anywhere. Many called John a witchdoctor or a shaman and he loved it. In his effort to understand, John never denied that Western medicine had its place at the table of healing. For twenty years, John saw tens of thousands of patients at his clinic in Reno. Aided by Barbara, his loyal staff and the faith of his patients, John worked tirelessly to integrate the best of Eastern and Western medicine.
If you asked his patients why he was a good physician, they would always respond that he actually listened to them and with a tender voice he would dispense life advice, medicines, and his healing warmth. John loved meeting a new patient and guiding them to better choices. Sell your expensive house,"Stop working so hard,Focus on your family and the things that bring you joy,"he would say. Every where he went John brought with him his effervescent confidence that East and West could be integrated and the sum of these modality parts could make a patient whole again.
With his vast knowledge of medicine, John sought out to create an integrated medicine pharmaceutical company and he did-InteMedica. With the assistance of his family, InteMedica became InTUUN Systems and TUUN Health with offices in the United States and China. John went global with his ideas, his passion and, until the last minute, worked with foreign governments, universities, and private enterprises to change the delivery of medicine and make people just feel better. His work lives on in the definitive textbook on the practice of integrated medicine, The Clinical Practice of Complementary, Alternative, and Western Medicine. Just the day before his passing, John's innovative medical concepts and theories which he coined Allostatic Medicine were accepted by the mainstream and published in Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal. John loved to heal and his love was healing.
John was a huge presence in the lives of all who knew him. He was known for his quick wit and uproarious sense of humor. John loved his family: He was an adoring husband, a strong and loving father, a doting grandfather and a devoted friend. John is survived by his wife Barbara, his three children David (Suzanne), Jane (Robert) and Rory (Justice), his mother Penelope, and his five grandchildren Felicity, Noelle, Conlan, Quinlan and little Jillian.
A Celebration of Life will be held honoring John on Saturday, December 12, 2009 at 10 a.m. at Mountain View Mortuary, 425 Stoker Ave., Reno, NV 89503. All are welcome. Many members of the Diamond family were adopted from the SPCA of Northern Nevada-John loved his many dogs. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the SPCA of Northern Nevada (spcaofnn.org or 775-324-7780)
Wits benefactor Aubrey Dickman (BCom, BCom Hons 1956), who lived in Sydney, Australia, died on 4 September 2010 while visiting family in London. He was 79. Born in Cape Town on 12 September 1930, Dickman joined the Association of Chambers of Commerce as an economic assistant after graduating, and lectured Commerce at Wits. He completed a business administration course at the London School of Economics and returned to join Anglovaal. In 1959, he joined South Africa’s first merchant bank, Union Acceptances as an economist and participated in developing the South African money market, publishing on this topic in the South African Journal of Economics and co-authoring the annual survey of Stellenbosch University’s Bureau for Economic Research. He joined Anglo American as an economic consultant in 1970, a post he retained until his retirement in 1991. From 1970 to 1982 he was President of the Economic Society of South Africa, a member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council and the Commission of Inquiry into Electricity Supply in South Africa, and a board member of South Africa’s first pure money market institution, Discount House. After retiring, he was an Honorary Professor in the Wits Business School and served on the Electricity Council. His wife and three sons are all Wits alumni.
An Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Wits for some 30 years, Christos Dimitriou died on 22 September 2012 after emergency surgery the month prior. He was 87. Dimitriou was born on 15 December 1924 in Alexandria, Egypt to Greek parents. He trained in the Cape, South Africa, as a navigator for the Royal Hellenic Air force in the early 1940s. He studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Glasgow - a deliberate choice, as the traditional shipbuilding city appealed to his initial interest in marine engineering. He graduated with honours in 1951, excelling in mathematics. He returned permanently to South Africa to work. Early in his career, Dimitriou designed air conditioning installations for Thermotank. He joined the Wits School of Mechanical Engineering in 1958. In association with the Chamber of Mines, he did groundbreaking research into the nonlinear behaviour of mine hoist catenaries (cables). The South African Institution of Mechanical Engineering published the research, which engineers and scientists continue to reference today. The research stimulated postgraduate studies and the development of an experimental facility in the School.Dimitriou was at Wits full-time from 1958 to 1990, with a sabbatical in the 1960s at the Chamber of Mines. He then returned to Wits for a further nine years part time. In retirement, Dimitriou participated in maths and science education in local schools, motivated by the country’s need for engineers and scientists.
Dr Sylvia Dische (BSc 1943, BSc Hons 1945, MBBCh 1947) died in the UK on 15 August, aged 86. Born 6 December 1922, Dische emigrated after graduating to specialise in paediatrics. She studied in Edinburgh and held posts at the Canadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital and in London. She married pathologist Dr Frederick Dische in 1953 and worked part-time in schools and clinics in south London while raising her family. She had remarkable success in the treatment of nocturnal enuresis (nigh bed-wetting), an area in which she specialised. She was a recognised authority on the use of enuresis alarms and was in demand as a teacher and writer.
Zainul ‘Zain’ Docrat (BCom 2002) died in a car accident on 5 October en route home to Johannesburg from KwaZulu-Natal. He was 28. Docrat was born 26 June 1980. After graduating he worked at Fazel & Associates as an audit supervisor and at the office of the Auditor-General. He joined the office of the Public Protector as chief financial officer in 2006, a post he held at the time of his death. Docrat also held a degree in Certified Theory of Accounting from UNISA. He is survived by his wife, parents and siblings.
Alan Dodson, typographer and letter press printer was born in New Malden, Surrey on 22 January 1924. Dodson s lifelong love affair with type and typography began just before the Second World War at the Kingston College of Art, where as an architectural student he discovered letterpress printing, and devoted the rest of his life to its practice and history. After being demobilized from the RAF in 1947, he worked for the Bradford-based printer-publishers Lund Humphries. In 1954, on the recommendation of Francis Meynell, he succeeded Harry Carter as Head of Layout at Her Majesty's Stationery Office, which at that time was setting worldwide standards for the design and printing of government publications. Here Dodson was responsible for HMSO s official guide, Standards for Authors and Printers. Five years later he went to live in South Africa, where he taught typography at Wits and later at Johannesburg Technical College. In 1985 he returned to England. Alan died in Malvern, Worcestershire on 10 January 2007
Anthony Carden Doherty died on Wednesday 14th July 2010 after a long illness.
Tony was born in 1930 and, during the late 1940s, studied architecture at the University of the Witwatersrand where he was heavily influenced by modernism. In the early 1950s he joined a Pretoria-based practice that had been founded in 1904 and eventually became known as Burg, Lodge and Doherty, later as Burg, Doherty, Bryant and Partners and most recently as BILD.
Tony’s career as an architect lasted over 50 years. During this time he was responsible for designing several architectural landmarks, ranging from private homes to large industrial, corporate and civic offices. Amongst his best-known works are the Pretoria Art Museum, Munitoria (the Pretoria municipal offices), the Multiflora Flower Market, the Workshop and Computer Centre for Rank Xerox in Isando, the National Observatory in Sutherland, the National Accelerator Centre in Faure, the South African Reserve Bank Head Office in Pretoria, the Hans Merensky Offices in Parktown, the Palace Hotel at Sun City, his own house near Midrand and the Plettenberg Park Hotel.
Tony’s talent for design, love of new technology and zest for life have influenced many colleagues and friends by whom he will be sorely missed. His buildings and his life are his legacy.
An Emeritus Professor of Pathology at Stanford Hospital, Dr Ronald Frederick Dorfman died on 15 June 2012 after a short illness. He was 89. Dorfman was a renowned surgical pathologist who, along with Dr Juan Rosai, identified a particular lymph node condition now known as Rosai-Dorfman disease. Dorfman contributed to the development of the subspeciality of haematopathology, a branch of pathology focused on diseases of the haematopoietic, or blood-forming, cells.
Born in Johannesburg on 14 March 1923, Dorfman graduated from Wits Medical School in 1948 after completing military service during World War II. He pursued further study in England and Scotland, becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists. He returned to Johannesburg in 1955 to continue his training at the South African Institute for Medical Research, and married fellow Witsie Zelma that year. From 1959 to 1962, he lectured in pathology at Wits.
The Dorfmans relocated to the US in 1963 when he joined Washington University, Missouri. In 1968, he was appointed to establish and co-direct the Surgical Pathology Service in the Department of Pathology at Stanford University School of Medicine. He held this post for nearly 35 years until his retirement in 1993. That year, the US Canadian Academy of Pathology invited him to deliver the prestigious Maude Abbott lecture. A Professor of Haematopathology Chair was endowed in his name in 2004.
Dorfman’s colleagues described him as “kind, generous, conscientious” and “a gentlemanly, compassionate and deliberate man who loved golf, wine and food.” He enjoyed opera, photography and travel, and was an avid reader and a devoted family man.
Cate Druce, a committee clerk in the University Secretariat from 2006 to 2008, died on 6 August 2009. She was 66. Druce first joined Wits in 1986 as a senior administrative secretary in the Department of Physics. She moved abroad shortly thereafter but returned to South Africa in 1988. Druce filled various administrative posts before rejoining Wits in 2006 from which she retired in 2008. She continued to consult to Wits, most notably in the capacity of sub-editing the WITS Review.
One of the University’s oldest and proudest alumnae, Annette Dubovsky (BA 1939) died in Bloemfontein on 28 March 2012. She was 91, just one year older than Wits itself. Dubovsky served as secretary of the Bloemfontein Wits Alumni Chapter from its inception. She credited the University as a primary influence in her life, emanating from when her father, Joseph Ellman, graduated from the University’s predecessor, the School of Mines, in 1912. He became a Professor of Engineering at Wits in the 1940s. Born in Johannesburg on 26 October 1920, Dubovsky attended a convent school, where, to her constant amusement as a Jewish woman, she won Best New Testament Scholar. She studied English and History at Wits and then taught at St George’s Grammar School in Cape Town after graduating. She married Dr Henry Dubovsky in 1945. The couple lived in Durban and Adelaide, Eastern Cape, before settling in Bloemfontein in the late 1960s. Here Dubovsky became editor of the children’s page and reviewed books for The Friend newspaper, which Nobel literature laureate Rudyard Kipling had helped establish. Dubovsky immersed herself in the cultural life of Bloemfontein, attending concerts and lectures. She was an active member of the Bloemfontein Repertory Society for many years, taking part in numerous performances. An accomplished orator, she frequently delivered public addresses at cultural events. She was a member of the University of the Third Age (U3A), an international organisation that aims to educate and stimulate retired people who continue to pursue lifelong learning. Dubovsky combined her interest in cookery with writing, and published a cookery book. She was philanthropic and donated proceeds of the sale of her cookery book to charity. She was active in the Free State Society for the Blind and several other Bloemfontein charities, including a small home for people with special needs, for each of whom, until very recently, she baked a birthday cake. Her final bequest included a generous amount to the two men who delivered her copy of Volksblad every day.
Hugo Dummett was born in South Africa. He was a highly respected economic geologist described as “the brains, the ideas and the energy” behind the discovery of the Ekati deposit in the Northwest Territories, Canada’s first diamond mine. He also had exploration successes in Mongolia, where a copper-gold deposit under development is named after him, and in China and Africa. At the time of his premature death in a car accident in Africa, he was president of the Society of Economic Geologists.
A patron of human rights organisation Black Sash, Sheena Duncan (honorary LLD 1990) died in her sleep after a battle with cancer, in Johannesburg on May 4, 2010, aged 77. Born in Johannesburg in November 1932, Duncan matriculated from Roedean School and then enrolled at the College of Domestic Science in Scotland. She moved to Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) after graduating and then returned to South Africa, where she worked in social welfare at the Johannesburg City Council. Duncan's mother, Jean Sinclair, co-founded the Black Sash in 1955. Black Sash comprised middle-class white women who provided disenfranchised blacks with paralegal advice around apartheid legislation pass laws, forced removals, detention without trial and who, wearing black sashes, silently and peacefully stood vigil in protest against apartheid. Duncan joined the organisation in 1963, twice serving as national president. With no formal legal training, she became an authority on the pass laws. Black Sash national director, Marcella Naidoo, said Duncan had been the leading expert in understanding the impact of these laws and exposing their absurdity. Wits University would award her an honorary doctorate of laws in 1990, with the universities of Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal following suit. Equally important was her commitment to finding peaceful ways of opposing oppression and injustice, said Naidoo of Duncan, who was also patron and chair of Gun-Free South Africa and honorary life vice-president of the South African Council of Churches. Duncan’s two daughters and two grandchildren survive her. The Black Sash endures today.
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Dr Joosub Hajee Suliman Ebrahim‚ Wits benefactor, funder of numerous academic prizes and awards in the Faculties of Health Sciences and Humanities, and recipient of the University Gold Medal‚ passed away in January 2008 while on a cruise with his wife. He was 88 years old.
Dr Avraham Eidelman qualified as a doctor at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1950. In 1952 he married Channa Gulis of Cape Town and in April 1953 they immigrated to Israel. Born in Kovno in 1927, Avraham aged five arrived with his parents in South Africa and grew up in Mayfair, Johannesburg. Starting as a young doctor in Assaf Harofeh, Israel, he specialized as a surgeon in urology and eventually worked his way up to be head of the Urology Department. He held this position for 21 years. After his retirement, he served as Assaf Harofeh for almost the next 10 years as a part-time surgeon and consultant. Apart from his medical talents he had interests in other fields. In Johannesburg he was a member of the Jewish Guild Orchestra and in Israel played with the Tel Avis Campus Orchestra and then with the Sharon Orchestra. Avraham died on the 15th April 2007 after a long illness.
Dr Glen Strauch Elder (BA 1987, BA Hons 1989, PDE 1988) died 21 May 2009, aged 42. Elder was born in South Africa on 4 May 1967 and studied geography and environmental studies, English and education at Wits. He was most recently Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Vermont (UVM), Burlington in the United States. His research focused on the effects of border policies since 9/11 on the economic, social and political realities of border communities. According to UVM Dean Eleanor M. Miller, Elder deeply loved his homeland‚ and was interested in the development of an historical economic geography of HIV/Aids in southern Africa. He first joined UVM as a visiting assistant professor in 1995 and was promoted to associate professor in 2002. He served as Chair in the Department of Geography from 2005 and took up the post of Interim Associate Dean in the College earlier this year. Described as an outstanding young scholar who made an enormous contribution to southern African studies, at the time of his death he was preparing his dossier to be considered for full professorship. Elder was credited with moving the College forward and helping [us] respond to recent financial pressures in a humane way. He received the Kroepsch Maurice Teaching Award and the Dean’s Lecture Award. He also held a Masters degree and a PhD from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Former head of the Department of Religious Studies and Wits benefactor Professor Benjamin Engelbrecht died on 18 October 2012 on his farm in North West province, aged 84. Born on 25 June 1928 in the Free State, he held degrees in theology and liturgy from the University of Pretoria and the Rijksuniversiteit Utrecht, Netherlands. His dissertation earned him a doctorate from the University of South Africa. He was a priest at the NG Kerk from 1954 to 1965, after which he worked with Beyers Naudé in the Christian Institute and as editor of Pro Veritate. He joined Wits in 1970 as a senior lecturer and became Emeritus Professor in 1993.
Cora Erasmus was born and educated in Johannesburg. She received her MBBCh from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1952, and a diploma in Public Health in 1958. In 1961 she was appointed as the Chief Medical Officer of Health of the City of Germiston, a leadership position that was unusual for women of her generation. Simultaneously she served as Professor of Social and Preventive Medicine at Wits, a position she held from 1961-1972. In 1969, she left her MOH position and did a stint as Director of the State Health Department. In 1974 she returned to her position as MOH of Germiston, and she served in that capacity until she retired in 1993. She served on the Executive Committee of the South African National Council for the Aged and was active on the Council even after her retirement as MOH of Germiston. She served on the boards of several other medical and health & welfare organizations, such as East Rand Regional Welfare Board, the Germiston & Associated Dental Clinics Board, the South African National Tuberculosis Association, and the South African Red Cross.
An eminent South African-born novelist, Shirley Eskapa (BA 1963, BA Hons 1967) died in London of cardiac arrest on 17 August 2011, aged 77. Born in Johannesburg on 30 July 1934, Eskapa studied psychology and sociology at Wits. She was a member of the Black Sash anti-apartheid movement, and she and her husband, Raymond (BCom 1953, BA Hons 1967) left South Africa in the 1960s after the secret police threatened her.
Eskapa wrote Blood Fugue (1981), about an interracial love affair in South Africa, and her novel The Secret Keeper (1982) was a smash hit. Her novel on marital infidelity, Woman versus Woman (1984), garnered international recognition and sparked worldwide debate, including an appearance by Eskapa on Oprah Winfrey’s show. The novel explores the dynamics between philandering husbands, betrayed wives and “the other woman”. Eskapa herself was happily married for 57 years.
Her last novel, In a Naked Place (2008), about a headmistress whose daughter has died and who embarks on an affair, alludes to Eskapa’s personal experience of the death of her own daughter, who choked on a litchi and died in 1963, aged three.
Elisabeth Franse Eybers the South African poet, passed away in Amsterdam on 1 December 2007. Eybers's poetry was mainly in Afrikaans, although she translated some of her own work (and those of others) into English. Born in Klerksdorp in the then Transv l, Eybers grew up in the town of Schweizer-Reneke, where her father was a Dutch Reformed Minister. After completing her high school studies at the age of 16, she enrolled at the University of the Witwatersrand for a Bachelor of Arts degree, which she achieved cum laude. After her graduation she became a journalist. In 1937 Eybers married the businessman Albert Wessels, with whom she had three daughters and a son. Counted among the so-called Dertigers, she became the first Afrikaans woman to win the Hertzog Prize for poetry in 1934. She won the prize again in 1971.Her work received many other awards in both South Africa and the Netherlands, including the Constantijn Huygens prize in 1978 and the P. C. Hooft Award in 1991. Eybers first collection of poems Belydenis in die Skemering (Confession in the twilight) was published in 1936. Her second collection, entitled Die Stil Avontuur (The silent adventure) was published in 1939. Die Vrou en ander verse (The woman and other poems) was published in 1945 while her fourth poetry collection, Die Ander Dors (The other thirst) was published in 1946. More recent works included the bilingual Verbruikersverse/Consumer s verse (1997) en Winter-surplus (1999).