The Society’s Annual Dinner, Induction of Fellows and Medal Awards was held on the evening of Tuesday, 25th September at Woodhall Guesthouse, Kings Avenue, Westville, Durban. It was attended by 45 people including a number of Fellows and Members of long standing, amongst others, Professors David Walker (1988), Siegfried Drewes (1990), Henda Swart (1996), Michael Wingfield (1998) and Dr Ian Macdonald.
Society President Professor Don Cowan warmly welcomed those present and paid tribute to Past President Phillip Tobias who died in earlier in 2012. He thanked Dr Edith Elliott and her team in KwaZulu-Natal for all their efforts in organising the dinner in Durban.
The following Fellows were inducted by Don Cowan and General Secretary, Professor Jane Carruthers : Professor Susan Bourne (2011), Professor Maureen Coetzee (2011), Professor Sunil Maharaj (2011), Professor Cheryl de la Rey (2010), Professor Michael Perrin (2010), Professor Sue Nicolson (2010), Professor Robert Millar (2008) and Professor Henda Swart – who took 16 years to receive her Fellowship Certificate!
After the first dinner course, Council Member, Professor Guy Bate, presented the John Herschel Medal to Professor David Richardson FRSSAf, Director at the Centre for Invasion Biology at Stellenbosch University, in recognition of his multidisciplinary contribution to science in South Africa.
Council Member and KZN Chair Dr Edith Elliott then presented the Meiring Naude Medal to 33 year old Professor Alta Schutte, Director of the Hypertension in Africa Research Team (HART) at the School for Physiology, Nutrition & Consumer Sciences, North-West University for her outstanding research in hypertension.
This was followed by the rare announcement of a new Honorary Fellow, Professor Errol Friedberg by Council Member Dr Tony Ribbink. Prof Friedberg is recognized internationally as a premier investigator in the field of DNA repair.
Council Member Professor Jannie Hofmeyer introduced the dinner speaker, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, (Chair of the Department of Reproductive Health and Research, Director at the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in SA and President of the South African Medical Research Council) who delivered a thought provoking talk entitled “Achieving scientific success: Three key ingredients”, without a single note! (See top photograph)
The evening ended with Toasts to the Society and the Country by Council Members Manoj Chiba and Pierre Janssens respectively. Thanks to Dean Goldring for taking photographs and to all the other guests for making the evening such a resounding success.